Issue 79 / July 2017

June 2017 issue of Bido Lito! magazine. Featuring: LOVED ONES, JANE WEAVER, DAVID LYNCH, ALSARAH AND THE NUBATONES, SLACKK, LIGHTNIGHT and much more.

June 2017 issue of Bido Lito! magazine. Featuring: LOVED ONES, JANE WEAVER, DAVID LYNCH, ALSARAH AND THE NUBATONES, SLACKK, LIGHTNIGHT and much more.


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ISSUE <strong>79</strong> / JULY <strong>2017</strong><br />





FRI 16 JUN 7PM<br />


CANCER<br />

BATS<br />



SAT 24 JUN<br />

11PM-3AM · 18+<br />

CHOP SUEY! -<br />

NU-METAL<br />


SAT 1 JUL 7PM<br />

THE<br />


EFFECT<br />


TOM<br />

CLARKE<br />

FROM<br />


SUN 9 JUL 7PM<br />

JESSE<br />

MALIN<br />

SAT 15 JUL 7PM<br />



SAT 15 JUL<br />

10PM-4AM · 18+<br />

MODU:LAR<br />

OPEN AIR<br />

FT. RARESH<br />

+ CAP + NERRAM<br />

SAT 29 JUL<br />

11PM-3AM · 18+<br />

BLACK<br />

PARADE -<br />

OO’S EMO<br />


SUN 30 JUL<br />

ENERGY<br />

FRI 11 AUG 7PM<br />


SAT 2 SEP 7PM<br />

THE<br />


SUN 24 SEP 7PM<br />

LEWIS<br />

WATSON<br />

WED 27 SEP<br />

LUCY<br />



SAT 30 SEP 7PM<br />


SAT 7 OCT 7PM<br />


FRI 13 OCT 6PM<br />

ARCANE<br />

ROOTS<br />

WED 18 OCT 7PM<br />

HURRAY<br />

FOR THE<br />


TUE 7 NOV 7PM<br />

SPOON<br />

WED 29 NOV<br />



FRI 22 DEC<br />

SPACE<br />


90<br />


d j s e t<br />

Official After Party<br />

sat 15 july • Main Bar • Free entry<br />

15 SLATER ST LIVERPOOL L1 4BW— @sHip _ Cast shipping.forecast ship.forecast

WHAT’S ON<br />

Liverpool Philharmonic<br />

September – December <strong>2017</strong><br />

Sunday 3 September 8pm<br />

Monday 4 September 8pm<br />


–<br />

Friday 8 September 7.30pm<br />

Saturday 9 September 7.30pm<br />

Sunday 10 September 7.30pm<br />



Saturday 23 September 7.30pm<br />



Thursday 28 September 8pm<br />


BAND<br />

–<br />

Friday 13 October 8pm<br />


Tuesday 14 November 7.30pm<br />



WALLS<br />

–<br />

Saturday 9 December 7.30pm<br />



Box Office<br />

liverpoolphil.com<br />

0151 709 3789<br />

Image Magnetic Fields

Pioneers of British Electronic Music<br />

GARY<br />

NUMAN<br />








Pet Sounds<br />

presents<br />

:<br />


facebook.com/o2academyliverpool<br />

twitter.com/o2academylpool<br />

instagram.com/o2academyliverpool<br />

youtube.com/o2academytv<br />

Fri 23rd Jun • £20 adv<br />

Dead Kennedys<br />

Wed 28th Jun • £22.50 adv<br />

Dropkick Murphys<br />

Fri 30th Jun • £25 adv<br />

Kamasi Washington<br />

Fri 7th Jul • £7 adv<br />

The Bohos<br />

Wed 12th Jul • £10 adv<br />

Saint Motel<br />

Thurs 27th Jul • £6 adv<br />

Yes Lad<br />

Mon 21st Aug • £22 adv<br />

Conor Oberst<br />

Sat 2nd Sep • £15 adv<br />

Roddy Woomble<br />

Sat 16th Sep • £7 adv<br />

Zulu<br />

Sat 23rd Sep • £12 adv<br />

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis<br />

Tribute)<br />

Sat 30th Sep • £5 adv<br />

Galactic Funk Militia<br />

Sat 7th Oct • £10 adv<br />

Elvana: Elvis Fronted Nirvana<br />

Fri 13th Oct • £15 adv<br />

The Dears<br />

Sat 14th Oct • £22.50 adv<br />

The Alarm<br />

Fri 20th Oct • £10 adv<br />

Fireball - Fuelling The Fire Tour<br />

ft. Reel Big Fish + Mad Caddies<br />

Fri 20th Oct • £12.50 adv<br />

The Southmartins<br />

Sat 21st Oct • £17 adv<br />

The Carpet Crawlers - The<br />

Ultimate Genesis Tribute<br />

Sat 21st Oct • £16 adv<br />

Penetration<br />

Mon 23rd Oct • £18 adv<br />

The Pigeon Detectives<br />

Thurs 26th Oct • £10 adv<br />

Henry Gallagher<br />

Sun 5th Nov • £17 adv<br />

Y&T<br />

Wed 8th Nov • £22 adv<br />

Newton Faulkner<br />

Fri 10th Nov • £17 adv<br />

The ELO Show<br />

Fri 10th Nov • £15 adv<br />

Absolute Bowie<br />

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Antarctic Monkeys<br />

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Ride<br />

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UK Foo Fighters - 10th<br />

Anniversary Tour<br />

Fri 24th Nov • £27.50 adv<br />

Nelly<br />

Fri 24th Nov • £12.50 adv<br />

The Doors Alive<br />

Sat 25th Nov • £14 adv<br />

Pearl Jam UK<br />

Sun 26th Nov • £14 adv<br />

Jagged Little Pill - A Tribute To<br />

Alanis Morissette<br />

Mon 27th Nov • £22.50 adv<br />

Scouting For Girls<br />

Fri 1st Dec • £14 adv<br />

The Lancashire Hotpots<br />

Sat 2nd Dec • £15 adv<br />

Ian Prowse & Amsterdam<br />

Sat 9th Dec • £18 adv<br />

The Icicle Works<br />

Sat 9th Dec • £12.50 adv<br />

The Prince Experience<br />

Fri 22nd Dec • £21.25 adv<br />

The Twang<br />

Wed 28th Feb 2018 • £14 adv<br />

Electric Six<br />

Thurs 29th Jun • £27.50 adv<br />

The Wombats<br />

Mon 10th Jul • £35 adv<br />

Nas<br />

Wed 13th Sep • £20 adv<br />

Rock & Roll Darts<br />

Fri 13th Oct • £17.90 adv<br />

Festival Of The Dead<br />

Sat 14th Oct • £25 adv<br />

White Lies<br />

Tues 21st Nov • £18.50 adv<br />

Mac DeMarco<br />

Ticketweb.co.uk • 0844 477 2000<br />

liverpoolguild.org<br />

Friday 30th June • £25 adv<br />

Kamasi Washington Monday 21st August • £22 adv<br />

Conor Oberst<br />

Sunday 12th Nov • £25 adv<br />

Ride<br />

o2academyliverpool.co.uk<br />

11-13 Hotham Street, Liverpool L3 5UF • Doors 7pm unless stated<br />

Venue box office opening hours: Mon - Sat 11.30am - 5.30pm • No booking fee on cash transactions<br />

ticketweb.co.uk • seetickets.com • gigantic.com • ticketmaster.co.uk


New Music + Creative Culture<br />

Liverpool<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> <strong>79</strong> / <strong>July</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

bidolito.co.uk<br />

Second Floor<br />

The Merchant<br />

40-42 Slater Street<br />

Liverpool L1 4BX<br />

Editor<br />

Christopher Torpey - chris@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Editor-In-Chief / Publisher<br />

Craig G Pennington - info@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Media Partnerships and Projects Manager<br />

Sam Turner - sam@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Assistant Editor<br />

Bethany Garrett - editorial@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Reviews Editor<br />

Jonny Winship - live@bidolito.co.uk<br />

Design<br />

Mark McKellier - mark@andmark.co.uk<br />

Branding<br />

Thom Isom - hello@thomisom.com<br />

Cover Photography<br />

Mike Sheerin - michaelsheerin.photoshelter.com<br />

Words<br />

Christopher Torpey, Stuart Miles O’Hara, Rebecca<br />

Frankland, Del Pike, Michael Kirkham, Bethany Garrett,<br />

Sam Turner, Matthew Hogarth, Glyn Akroyd, Cath<br />

Bore, Michael Sutton, Craig G Pennington, Tom Bell,<br />

Sue Bennett, Jessica Greenall, Jonny Winship, Debra<br />

Williams, Keith Ainsworth, Paul Fitzgerald, Ben<br />

Griffiths, Dave Kitson, Taher Qassim.<br />

Photography, Illustration and Layout<br />

Mark McKellier, Mike Sheerin, Nick Booton, Michael<br />

Kirkham, Keith Ainsworth, Samantha Parkinson, Glyn<br />

Akroyd, Stuart Moulding, Aaron McManus, Paul McCoy,<br />

Nuria Ruis, Tristram Kenton, Stephen Vaughan, John<br />

Johnson.<br />

Distributed by Middle Distance<br />

Print, distribution and events support across<br />

Merseyside and the North West.<br />

middledistance.org.uk<br />

9 / EDITORIAL<br />

Editor Christopher Torpey looks back on a<br />

tumultuous month, reflecting on our need to find<br />

solidarity as part of a larger movement.<br />

10 / NEWS<br />

The latest announcements, releases and nonfake<br />

news from around the region.<br />

12 / LOVED ONES<br />

The warm embrace of Loved Ones’ rich,<br />

wholesome sound is one of the great strengths<br />

of the West Kirby quartet’s latest album. Stuart<br />

Miles O’Hara finds a band at the top of their<br />

game.<br />

14 / SLACKK<br />

Charting the rise of the underground grime<br />

movement with one of its early pioneers and<br />

most respected names.<br />

16 / LIMF<br />

Europe’s largest free music festival is on<br />

our doorstep, inviting us to join them in<br />

remembering the good times.<br />



The architect of noir cinema is a master of<br />

turning your deepest, weirdest dreams into<br />

gripping art. Del Pike delves inside the murky<br />

world of the cult director and musician.<br />

20 / JANE WEAVER<br />

The genre-melding sonic auteur returns with a<br />

dazzling LP that sees her filter the history of the<br />

universe through her analogue synth setup.<br />

22 / URBAN GOALS<br />

As the football season is in temporary recess,<br />

we look at a photography project that captures<br />

the hopes and aspirations born from our<br />

childhood theatres of dreams.<br />

28 / SPOTLIGHT<br />

We take a closer look at some artists who’ve<br />

been impressing us of late: Hannah’s Little<br />

Sister, Bill Nickson and Indigo Moon.<br />

30 / ALSARAH & THE<br />


Searching for a place to lay down your roots is<br />

a recurring theme in the work of the Sudaneseborn<br />

singer, songwriter and ethnomusicologist.<br />

31 / PREVIEWS<br />

Looking ahead to a busy <strong>July</strong> in Merseyside’s<br />

creative and cultural community.<br />

36 / REVIEWS<br />

Kraftwerk 3-D, LightNight, Primavera Sound<br />

and Sound City reviewed by our team of intrepid<br />

reporters.<br />

46 / THE FINAL SAY<br />

Taher Qassim MBE, Chair of Liverpool Arab Arts<br />

Festival, considers how art captures the global,<br />

social and cultural issues that help us recognise<br />

what unites us.<br />

The views expressed in Bido Lito! are those of the<br />

respective contributors and do not necessarily<br />

reflect the opinions of the magazine, its staff or the<br />

publishers. All rights reserved.

THE<br />


GARDEN<br />








Photo by John Johnson<br />

Grief. Compassion. Solidarity. Outrage. Hope. In the<br />

four weeks since our previous edition was published,<br />

the public’s collective consciousness has fluctuated<br />

between these various emotions, in response to a<br />

tumultuous set of events that have tested our mettle, both<br />

as a nation and as individuals. Terror attacks in Manchester<br />

and London, and the catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower, have<br />

highlighted the fractious divisions that still exist within our<br />

society; but they have also shown us the best in people, in the<br />

way communities of relative strangers have come together, and<br />

in the bravery and skill of our emergency and health services.<br />

In the middle of all this, the surge of the Labour Party under<br />

Jeremy Corbyn was a much-needed fillip. Never before in my<br />

lifetime has the political left seemed so energised, sweeping<br />

up the mood of a country jaded by austerity and buoyed by the<br />

optimism of youth. Beginning when Corbyn addressed the crowd<br />

at Prenton Park, and spreading into clubs, pubs and political<br />

gatherings around the country, the “Ohhh, Jeremy Corbyn”<br />

football chant became the embodiment of this blossoming hope.<br />

This positive movement – infectious, giddy, even sexy – propelled<br />

us so close to the change we all craved: yet, the fact remains that<br />

we fell just short. At time of going to press, Theresa May remains<br />

the Prime Minister of Broken Britain (even though it’s looking<br />

increasingly likely that May will not be PM when you read this),<br />

with the chief architects of Brexit presiding over our government.<br />

That should be enough to burst hope’s fragile bubble, but,<br />

miraculously, it’s holding firm. In Corbyn we have seen that the<br />

appetite for change is alive and flourishing, and right now he has<br />

momentum.<br />

In many ways, the recent election was like the UK in<br />

microcosm: hopeful for a more harmonious way of doing things,<br />

yet still deeply divided. You only need to look at the reactions of<br />

the political establishment to see this. While the public praises<br />

Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction to the grief-stricken victims of the fire<br />

at Grenfell Tower, the right retreats behind its wall of contempt<br />

and continues to snipe. Just when we need togetherness,<br />

fearmongering rears its ugly head. Not that we should be very<br />

surprised by these actions of an out-of-touch establishment and<br />

commentariat, hidden away in their hall of mirrors. Our electoral<br />

system actually does very little to strengthen the bonds that are<br />

vital in holding the country together. A two-party political system<br />

encourages tribalism and petty squabbling between increasingly<br />

partisan sides, pushing people further into entrenched positions<br />

and resulting in a kind of détente. This is not what a country<br />

that is made of a spectrum of beliefs needs. A country is not<br />

one person: it isn’t even one political party. It is a wide range of<br />

“In Corbyn we have<br />

seen that the appetite<br />

for change is alive<br />

and flourishing,<br />

and right now he<br />

has momentum”<br />

competing opinions on a number of complicated issues. We<br />

cannot expect to achieve unity by forcing groups of people to<br />

comply with one set of rules of governance, only to throw them<br />

all out five years later when the electorate is deemed to have<br />

changed its mind. In order to work together, I believe we need to<br />

govern together, as difficult as that may sound.<br />

In his fascinating book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari charts<br />

the evolution of homo sapiens through the great stages of<br />

human development: the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific<br />

Revolutions. One of the most fascinating tenets of the research is<br />

that humanity has developed a way of binding together in groups<br />

over hundreds of thousands of years, doing so via complex sociopolitical<br />

structures that require belief in a set of shared ideals.<br />

The modern cynic or atheist may scoff at the inter-subjective<br />

notions of religion and myths, but they have been vital in helping<br />

humanity to develop beyond their small bands of a hundred or<br />

so hunter-gatherers to create cities, vast empires and nations. It<br />

is only in times of real hardship that we see just how important<br />

these imagined beliefs are in uniting us: the average person<br />

can feel empathy for someone they see suffering in the street,<br />

or someone they know – but how does that extend beyond our<br />

immediate experiences to feeling grief for people we’ve never<br />

met? In Harari’s hypothesis, he believes that this compassion<br />

comes from our imagined belief systems that provide a shared<br />

identity – for example, the nation of the United Kingdom, political<br />

systems, football teams – and this is a massively powerful part<br />

of our humanity. If we hadn’t developed such an instinct, our<br />

ancestors would never have emerged from their close-knit tribes<br />

of foragers in the first place.<br />

Our cultural beliefs, the things that we hold dear and believe<br />

are immutable, are but constructs of the human mind, devised<br />

to help us work together in greater numbers. It may seem like<br />

I’m deriding the specifics of religious creeds or cultural customs,<br />

but I’m not: I am, in fact, praising how important they are to each<br />

and every one of us. We should never disrespect the cultures<br />

and beliefs that any other person has, no matter how alien<br />

or abhorrent it may seem to us. Attacking the foundations of<br />

people’s identities is a direct affront to their place in the world,<br />

and it can only bring about anger and enmity.<br />

The terrorist attack at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena<br />

concert was a vicious blow striking at the heart of our shared<br />

ideals (in large parts of the world, at least). The response from<br />

the public in the wake of this atrocious act – and after the<br />

London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Grenfell Tower incidents<br />

in London – showed the massively compassionate side of the<br />

human condition, shunning division and opting for solidarity. The<br />

choruses of Don’t Look Back In Anger that rang around Sound<br />

City and the Stade de France illustrated how our empathy and<br />

belief in the goodness of other humans is fundamental to our<br />

being. Alexis Petridis summed it up perfectly in a column he wrote<br />

in the Guardian shortly after the Manchester Arena attack: “Music<br />

aimed at teenage girls is derided but the likes of Ariana Grande<br />

provide the kind of empowering, transcendent experience that<br />

terrorists hate.”<br />

Reactions to events such as these are massively important to us,<br />

as social animals, and it’s why so much scrutiny is placed on the<br />

way we respond. People sending bundles of clothes to survivors<br />

of the Grenfell Tower fire won’t prevent another building from<br />

suffering the same tragic fate, or solve the victims’ immediate<br />

need for housing; but these acts of generosity are vital, in a<br />

broader context, in letting people know that they do not suffer<br />

alone. The reactions of communities in banding together, like<br />

many did recently for the Great Get Together events in memory<br />

of Jo Cox, shouldn’t surprise us: it reminds them, and us, that we<br />

are all part of a wider support network of fellow humans.<br />

I will never apologise for our overuse of the word ‘community’<br />

in these pages when it comes to describing the network that<br />

we’re part of. It’s what unites us, what gives us a shared identity<br />

that makes us feel part of something. And, in times of hardship,<br />

we need these bonds more than ever. We need outpourings<br />

of emotion from our global superstars, to renew our faith in<br />

ourselves and bind over the wounds. We need to be able to sing<br />

along to popular songs with people we’ve never met, even when<br />

it doesn’t immediately make us safer. What we need is each<br />

other, more than ever before. !<br />

Christopher Torpey / @CATorp<br />

Editor<br />


NEWS<br />

Bido Lito! Membership Update<br />

IWFM Radiophonic Workshop<br />

This month’s Bido Lito! Membership Special<br />

Event is a novel experience for us all, as we take<br />

members deep into the world of internet radio<br />

with an IWFM Radiophonic Workshop. Rob,<br />

Howard and Laura, the station controllers behind<br />

IWFM Radio, give Bido members a masterclass in<br />

DIY radio production as they take us on a behindthe-scenes<br />

tour. This members-only event takes<br />

place at Invisible Wind Factory on 5th <strong>July</strong> – to<br />

book your place, RSVP at bidolito.co.uk. Once<br />

you’ve joined, you’ll be able to revel in all the<br />

other member-related activity we have lined up,<br />

including Socials at The Shipping Forecast (20th<br />

<strong>July</strong>) and 81 Renshaw (17th August). Support<br />

Liverpool’s new music and creative culture – sign<br />

up now.<br />

The Reel Thing<br />

Aspiring Scouse Spielbergs and<br />

Wirralian Wes Andersons rejoice, FACT<br />

have begun a regular programme of<br />

meet-ups for North West filmmakers.<br />

The inaugural event in June featured<br />

talks from filmmakers about successfully<br />

landing funding for your project, a<br />

behind-the-scenes insight into the<br />

festival judges’ selection process and<br />

guidance on finding the right music for<br />

productions. The events, set to continue<br />

throughout the year, will also provide<br />

opportunity for up-and coming-directors<br />

to screen their work in The Box at FACT.<br />

FACT Filmmakers Club<br />

SAE What?<br />

SAE Institute<br />

Venerable school of sonics, SAE INSTITUTE, are calling on anyone who is looking<br />

to sharpen their production skills and enter the world of studio wizardry as they<br />

announce their prospectus for courses starting this September. Their world-class<br />

campus on Pall Mall offers a BA Hons course in Audio Production, as well as short<br />

courses in industry essentials Logic Pro X, Ableton Live and other key subjects for<br />

aspiring studio or live sound techs, engineers and producers. SAE, an international<br />

network of campuses, has produced award-winning alumni who are amongst the<br />

cream of the production crop. To find out more, head along to their Open Days on<br />

29th June and 18th August.<br />

The Handyman Can<br />

Live At Hoylake<br />

After welcoming Smithdown Road Festival goers into their<br />

space and hosting a film festival in May, the Handyman venue<br />

closed their doors to give themselves a full refurb complete with<br />

an event space, permanent bar and brew kit. The Handyman<br />

Brewery opens properly towards the middle of this month in<br />

time to host the official LIMF after parties. Further down the<br />

line Bido Lito! will be hosting a film night with Empty Spaces<br />

Cinema on 2nd August. The event, which will include a screening<br />

of a feature film of our choosing plus a selection of shorts by<br />

local filmmakers is free to Bido Lito! members or £5 for advance<br />

tickets.<br />

MERSEYRAIL SOUND STATION celebrates five years of the<br />

project this year. The new music platform has become central<br />

to the region’s development ladder for emerging talent and<br />

has delivered quality content through their podcast and live<br />

sessions. To mark the occasion, Sound Station will be hosting a<br />

stage at Hoylake as part of Wirral Festival Of Firsts on Saturday<br />

15th <strong>July</strong>. Confirmed on the line-up are previous winners<br />

BLUE SAINT and KATY ALEX as well as favourites SUB BLUE<br />

and THE SHIPBUILDERS. More acts are set to be announced<br />

at merseyrailsoundstation.com.<br />

Conor Oberst Competition<br />

Conor Oberst<br />

To the delight of North West-based melancholic countryinflected<br />

folk music fans, former Bright Eyes man CONOR<br />

OBERST makes a rare visit to our fair city in August.<br />

The cult singer-songwriter plays the O2 Academy on<br />

21st August. What’s more, to celebrate we’re giving<br />

away a pair of tickets. To be in with a chance of winning<br />

just answer this question: What was the name of the<br />

supergroup Oberst formed with members of M Ward<br />

and My Morning Jacket? a) Some Kind Of Monster b)<br />

Monsters Of Folk c) Monster Mash. Email your answer<br />

to competition@bidolito.co.uk by Friday 14th <strong>July</strong>. Winners<br />

will be notified by email. Good luck!<br />



Ben Griffiths from ALPHA MALE<br />

TEA PARTY selects some choice<br />

cuts that have influenced the<br />

band’s latest LP, Health.<br />

Everything<br />

Everything<br />

No Reptiles<br />

RCA Victor<br />

Shout About It<br />

Shout About It<br />

The art of live gig photography is often<br />

underappreciated, with only those hardy souls<br />

working away in the photo pits aware of the<br />

skill and toil involved. As part of a programme<br />

to throw some light on this, SHOUT ABOUT<br />

IT are hosting a festival of live music and gig<br />

photography on 19th and 20th August at District.<br />

The photography community, headed up by<br />

Georgia Flynn, will be showcasing an incredible<br />

exhibition of work by photographers from across<br />

the region: if you’d like to be involved – by<br />

exhibiting some work or volunteering –<br />

get in touch with the organisers on<br />

shoutaboutituk@gmail.com.<br />

Coast With The Most<br />

Wirral’s sunshine coast is getting a freaky makeover<br />

on 5th August, as SKELETON COAST FESTIVAL<br />

returns to Hoylake Community Centre. 2016’s outing<br />

was a storming affair, and the brains behind it are<br />

aiming to go one step further for <strong>2017</strong>’s offering<br />

with a stonking line-up brought together. CABBAGE<br />

and JANE WEAVER top the bill, with shadowy<br />


bringing their thumping psych slew to proceedings.<br />

Hoylake natives and Skeleton Coast programmers<br />

THE SUNDOWNERS head up a great local cast on<br />

the bill, including LAURIE SHAW, MARVIN POWELL<br />

and PEACH FUZZ.<br />

Such a beautiful tune. I love how instrumentally bare the<br />

tune is to begin with. It grows and soars and gives me<br />

goosebumps the size of Mitre size 5s. I would have to say<br />

that, collectively, this is our favourite band, just behind<br />

Billy Joel. Yes, he is a band, shut up.<br />

Three Trapped<br />

Tigers<br />

Silent Earthling<br />

Century Media<br />

Whenever I listen to this song I get the EXACT emotion I<br />

get when I’m 15 ales into a ‘large’ night and some DJ plays<br />

Freedom by Wham!. Sure, sonically and musically they’re<br />

not exactly bedfellows, but I’m talking about FEELINGS<br />

here. Pure, unadulterated, enormous FEELINGS.<br />

Tears For Fears<br />

Head Over<br />

Heels<br />

Phonogram/<br />

Mercury<br />

We don’t really listen to much in the way of ‘new’ music.<br />

So, from here on in this is pretty much an enormous<br />

80s-based nostalgia ride, so strap your massive shoulder<br />

pads in now. Just a glorious pop song. I adore the bassline<br />

in the verse and the use of strings in the introductory motif.<br />

Be Pier Now<br />

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation<br />

It Works For Me<br />

Prefab Sprout<br />

King Of Rock<br />

And Roll<br />

Kitchenware<br />

Back for the summer, the Pier Head Village officially<br />

opens its gates on 30th June for a varied programme<br />

of music, entertainment and art. Taking place on the<br />

UNESCO Heritage Site at the Liverpool waterfront,<br />

the attraction will remain open for full days and nights<br />

for tourists and Liverpudlians to enjoy the full gamut<br />

of activity available. New to the village this year is a<br />

partnership with Liverpool Sound City who will provide<br />

a programme of live music. At the opposite end of the<br />

village, the Balearic Sunset Sessions bring big name<br />

DJs to the banks of the Mersey such as Andy Carroll,<br />

Dreamgirl and Paul Bleasdale.<br />

As ever more Liverpool freelancers enjoy the freedom<br />

and leisurely lattés of flexible working and companies are<br />

looking to reduce their overheads, more organisations are<br />

answering the call for co-working spaces. These vibrant<br />

working environments come in various shapes and sizes and<br />

offer a great place for start-ups to flourish and freelancers to<br />

knuckle down amongst like-minded individuals. SIGNATURE<br />

WORKS are the latest company to offer space, with three<br />

centres opening across Liverpool. Free coffee and WiFi is<br />

included in the monthly flat fee and you can also get extra<br />

bonuses with the Signature Works Privilege card. For more<br />

info go to signatureworks.co.uk.<br />

This song holds a special place in my heart – a song<br />

we collectively belted out in the silent disco after our<br />

first appearance at our favourite festival, ArcTanGent. I<br />

remember sinking a couple of litres of ‘interesting’ red wine<br />

and feeling like we had achieved something really great.<br />

Yes, I’ve allowed myself one moment of self-congratulatory<br />

nostalgia. Fight me.<br />

Head to bidolito.co.uk to read (and listen to) more of Alpha<br />

Male Tea Party’s selections. Health is out on now on Big<br />

Scary Monsters.<br />


LOVED<br />

ONES<br />

The warm embrace of Loved Ones’ rich, wholesome sound is one of<br />

the great strengths of the West Kirby quartet’s latest album, Harness.<br />

Stuart Miles O’Hara envelops himself in its myriad charms, and,<br />

beneath it, finds a band at the top of their game.<br />

LOVED ONES are back – tell your friends. They never<br />

really went away, of course, but they’ve got a sleek new<br />

sound, a new drummer, and a stonking new album on<br />

which to show them all off. That Harness – the band’s<br />

new LP released on even newer imprint Blood Records – is<br />

well worth making a noise about shouldn’t come as much of a<br />

surprise. Loved Ones have been specialists in creating moody<br />

alt. pop since their first incarnation in 2011, then just a stopgap<br />

project of vocalist Nik Glover after Seal Cub Clubbing Club<br />

disbanded.<br />

Since teaming up with electronics/synth whizz Rich Hurst under<br />

the banner of Loved Ones, Glover has been able to steer the band’s<br />

efforts towards the fertile ground where their yearning introspection<br />

meshes deftly with electronic-infused pop. The emotional heft of<br />

the Loved Ones sound comes from the gorgeous melodies of<br />

Ben Shooter, whose classically-trained piano work adds a depth<br />

to the band’s sound that underpins Glover’s probing lyrics.<br />

So far so normal, for fans of the band’s first album The Merry<br />

Monarch anyway. What marks Harness out as a sign of real<br />

progress is the refined mood that permeates it, a suite of tracks<br />

all cut from the same cloth rather than just a collection of really<br />

good songs. The addition of Dan Taylor on drums – the band’s<br />

first full-time drummer – came quite late on in the process, and<br />

is a definite boon to the record’s consistent tone. Lead singles<br />

End Of An Error and Without Face are classic Loved Ones guitar<br />

pop gems, wedded to crisp drum beats and swirling textures.<br />

The instrumental Dagger and gorgeous Monitors really show off<br />

the interplay between Shooter’s piano and Hurst’s creativity (on<br />

strings and synths respectively), referencing some of the recent<br />

soundtrack work the band have indulged in.<br />

On the morning of the new LP’s launch show at Leaf, I<br />

caught up with frontman Nik Glover, briefly interrupting him while<br />

weeding his garden. The work-life balance that comes with being<br />

in a band was surprisingly high on the agenda. “We’re doing<br />

“There’s something<br />

about copying the<br />

sound of a band you<br />

don’t necessarily like,<br />

trying to make a song<br />

in the same way”<br />


a short tour in autumn. No festivals this year, too much of a<br />

hassle!” Glover replies when I ask him what the summer holds.<br />

“We’re very much a loose band, we’ll just do things here and<br />

there. [I’ve] Never been a fan of touring at the best of times.”<br />

So, talk us through what’s changed since 2013’s The Merry<br />

Monarch?<br />

We’ve had a couple more kids – six kids between the four<br />

of us now. We’re still working full time, but we’ve spent two<br />

years putting the album [Harness] together. We’re a bit more<br />

experienced, a bit older. We wanted to make something not…<br />

not more ‘accessible’, but the music’s smoothed out. I wanted<br />

to make the darks darker and the lights lighter. I think we’ve<br />

managed that.<br />

Being in a band is time consuming. With a family and work,<br />

why keep going back into band practice?<br />

We never treat it as work. It’s kind of a holiday from all that.<br />

We’ve spent two years practising so much we now feel we can<br />

just meet up and play. The four of us are committed to making<br />

music. In young bands, maybe two out of the four guys just<br />

wanna get pissed as soon as possible but we’re older, take it a bit<br />

more seriously.<br />

Listening to the new album, it’s noticeable the songs are<br />

shorter but seem to go further (The Merry Monarch had only<br />

three songs under four and a half minutes. On Harness, all but<br />

two hover around the fabled three-and-a-half-minute mark).<br />

Did you use the break as an opportunity for reinvention or<br />

does the new record just reflect where you currently are as<br />

musicians?<br />

It’s a reflection of the recording process. The first album came<br />

together over two years in West Kirkby, demoing it at home that<br />

whole time. By the time we finished, we released [recordings]<br />

that sounded so different from how we were playing them live.<br />

There are some major differences in sound, drums and vocals<br />

to the fore.<br />

It all feels much more professional this time. We started recording<br />

over in West Kirkby, then Peter Shilton from Merseyside Arts<br />

Foundation helped get us into Parr Street [Studios]. [Previous<br />

album] Merry Monarch was always meant to be lo-fi, using the<br />

same mics for everything, but we had access to so much more<br />

equipment in Parr Street this time. There’s this unbelievable<br />

baby grand piano, and Ben [Shooter] just got to let loose on it.<br />

Then there were all these different types of microphone. That’s<br />

“We never<br />

treat it as<br />

work. It’s kind<br />

of a holiday<br />

from all that”<br />

probably why the sound is fuller, the vocals are stronger. Much<br />

more stuff to play around with.<br />

What were you listening to when writing/recording Harness?<br />

Nothing specifically. Same as usual really: a lot of off-kilter hip<br />

hop, a lot of beats. Monitors off the new album, that’s my first<br />

time rapping – rapping UK style. Oh! And Saint Etienne. I’ve never<br />

been a fan, but I got fond of the aesthetic. There’s something<br />

about copying the sound of a band you don’t necessarily like,<br />

trying to make a song in the same way. Anything else is all fairly<br />

obvious, what you can hear in the album. A lot of pop albums that<br />

maybe don’t get listened to so much recently, Paul McCartney<br />

solo stuff.<br />

How did you get into soundtracking?<br />

The first soundtracking we did was for Roger Hill’s late-night<br />

show PMS on BBC Radio Merseyside, a long radio play, an<br />

abridged version of a 1930s book called Last And First Men by<br />

Olaf Stapledon. Then the BBC did a WWI film called Our World<br />

War, using innovative filming techniques using drone tech,<br />

showing the Great War in a new way, and we soundtracked<br />

that too. There’s a short sci-fi film we’ve done the soundtrack to,<br />

Pulsar, directed by Aurora Fearnley. It’s coming out in late June.<br />

It has kind of a similar feel [to Harness] but with traditional sci-fi<br />

sounds. Just had the final cut through on that so we’re working on<br />

our part and improving it.<br />

Does working on soundtracks differ much from your day-today<br />

band work?<br />

It’s a really nice way to work, and different to working normally as<br />

a band. Usually it’s me saying ‘Can we try it like this?’, so to have<br />

someone else directing, an external influence, is fun.<br />

Later on, I’m able to catch the band showcasing this<br />

newfound approach. The upper room in Leaf has strings of<br />

lights suspended from the ceiling, in a sequence of Crayola red,<br />

yellow, green, and blue. They help to make the darks darker<br />

and the lights lighter; an apt descriptor for Loved Ones’ music.<br />

It has a kind of wholesome, reassuring feeling like memories of<br />

the regular fixtures of childhood, be it Neil Buchanan saying,<br />

“Go on, give it a go” or hearing the ice cream van coming up<br />

your street. It’s there in the enunciation of set opener Without<br />

Face: “With a pound in my pocket and a pint in my hand/I can<br />

almost appreciate/Almost appreciate your side/With a pain in my<br />

shoulder and a pen in my hand/ I can almost appreciate/Almost<br />

appreciate your side.”<br />

The place the band now inhabit is much more assured: they<br />

sound comfortable in their own skin, devoid of the transatlantic<br />

yearning so often taken for granted in pop music. It’s also why<br />

Glover’s rapping on Monitors lands perfectly. It doesn’t sound<br />

audacious, nor try to be anything it isn’t – these are words that<br />

didn’t need enhancing with melody. Meaning and rhythm will do.<br />

Fresh cuts like Suzanne Vega and One Big Kiss sit<br />

comfortably alongside older material like Paper Crown, which is<br />

delivered almost at double speed. There’s that eclectic influence<br />

again – how often do bands align their tempi like a DJ might? And<br />

it’s all beefed up, and it can’t just be down to the right gear. It<br />

comes with the territory of a confident band who know what they<br />

want from their music.<br />

After the show, I ask the ivory-tickling Shooter the same<br />

question I asked Nik: Why keep up the workload of a band<br />

when there’s a family at home and a job at work? “I could say<br />

something really cheesy in response, but no. I’ll just say: for the<br />

love.” He drags out the last word until it’s cut short by the laugh<br />

of someone relieved, proud to show off two years of work to a<br />

loooving audience.<br />

Once they were very young. Now they are four, all performing<br />

with the inner peace of men in possession of tidy gardens. They<br />

finish where they came in, with older-than-oldie Wild Palms. A<br />

gulf has reappeared in front of the stage, but now people are slow<br />

dancing in it. Looks like Loved Ones have earned their name. !<br />

Words: Stuart Miles O’Hara / @ohasm1<br />

Photography: Mike Sheerin / michaelsheerin.photoshelter.com<br />

soundcloud.com/lovedones<br />

Harness is out now on Blood Records.<br />


“I don’t think<br />

there’s a magic<br />

formula as such,<br />

you’ve just got to<br />

keep to your focus”<br />

SLACKK<br />

Charting the rise of the underground grime<br />

movement with one of its early pioneers and<br />

most respected names.<br />

Grime’s rise over the past few years has been<br />

exponential, with the crossover figureheads paving the<br />

way for domination of festival headline slots alongside<br />

chart-topping albums. But, as with most genres, there’s<br />

an underground consistently bubbling with producers and DJs<br />

who are devising and showcasing quality music for the more<br />

earnest of music heads. Liverpool-raised SLACKK (real name<br />

Paul Lynch) is one such underground Titan: the co-founder of<br />

the beloved Boxed club night is considered a leading figure in<br />

instrumental grime, and is behind some of the standout releases<br />

from cult underground labels Local Action, R&S Records and<br />

Unknown To The Unknown.<br />

Lynch’s beginnings in the world of grime music started<br />

with his Grimetapes blog, a well-respected resource for old<br />

radio recordings, something which stemmed from his interest in<br />

the pirate radio scene. He then went onto make his own tunes<br />

when UK funky got big, exploring that avenue of dance before<br />

getting picked up by Glasgow’s Numbers label in 2010, where<br />

he released his debut EP, Theme From Slackk. It was when funky<br />

died off that Lynch turned his hand to grime, following a longstanding<br />

love affair with the genre. “I was always into grime in<br />

the first place,” says Lynch in a thick Scouse accent, as he speaks<br />

to us on the line from the capital. “I’ve always had a focus on<br />

London-based music despite being from Liverpool.”<br />

It was the journeys to London which really whetted Lynch’s<br />

appetite for that flavour of music, but he had his foot in the door<br />

when it came to dance long before, engaging with what his<br />

hometown had to offer in terms of dance music. “I was always<br />

into club music,” Paul tells us, “my dad was a DJ in the acid house<br />

era in the early 90s so I always grew up with that sort of music in<br />

the house. When I was in Liverpool from 16/17 I was taking pills<br />

and going raving in shit clubs, and then eventually it was the likes<br />

of Voodoo or Bugged Out.”<br />

But it was his move to London back in 2008 which exposed<br />

him fully to a whole strain of music which hadn’t quite made it<br />

up north yet. “It was a revelation of all this London-based music<br />

that I wasn’t that aware of I suppose, being up north you get<br />

bits of it but not properly,” he explains, before pinpointing the<br />

moment his talents were recognised, “I’ve always dabbled with<br />

the production thing but I didn’t think that I was any good until<br />

2009/2010.”<br />

With the airwaves now filled with a more accessible flavour<br />

of grime headed up by instantly recognisable vocals, a lot would<br />

consider the genre to be MC-focused, but Slackk’s productions<br />

prove that there’s a lot to be said for instrumental. “I have done<br />

tunes with MCs before but it just seemed a lot easier to start<br />

doing this sort of stuff as a producer because it’s easier to put on<br />

a rave in London – or certainly was at the time – without having<br />

an MC attached because you had the implications on clubs<br />

themselves. They were wary of that sort of sound.” It was this<br />

music policy decision which led to a brand which the name Slackk<br />

is now synonymous with: Boxed.<br />

The instrumental grime-focused night, founded by Lynch,<br />

Mr. Mitch, Logos and Oli Gang, is now considered the scene’s<br />

key stomping ground. “When we first started it, it was more the<br />

viewpoint that it was the instrumental avenue that we wanted to<br />

push,” he recalls, “and it was a lot easier to get into the clubs as a<br />

result, you know, me saying I’ve just got DJs coming down is more<br />

appealing than saying there’s MCs – there would automatically be<br />

implications.”<br />

Boxed is a party well and truly for the music heads; no frills,<br />

no drama, just a core crowd of invested ravers and the DJs who<br />

are equally as passionate about their niche. It’s the commitment to<br />

the initial idea which has led to the party marking its fourth year<br />

this March, quite a feat when clubland is as competitive as it is.<br />

“You’ve just got to be doing what you want to do,” explains Lynch<br />

with sincerity, “we just stuck with our idea for what we wanted<br />

to create and it just naturally grew, but I think you have to be<br />

genuinely dedicated and believe in the stuff you’re pushing. I don’t<br />

think there’s a magic formula as such, you’ve just got to crack on.<br />

I suppose you’ve got to keep to your focus, that’s the only thing<br />

we’ve done, I don’t know if there’s any merit in saying that but<br />

sticking to it for us has worked.”<br />

The first ever Boxed event brought in 150 people, hardly<br />

filling the 600-capacity venue, but the crowd was dedicated<br />

and word soon spread. Now Boxed has taken place at Plan B in<br />

Brixton, Dalston’s Birthdays, and Room 3 of Fabric, with Four Tet<br />

requesting the club night to host the space as part of his curation<br />

of Fabriclive. “Our venues have got bigger and our crowds have<br />

got bigger but we’ve just kept on with the same thing as we’ve<br />

always done,” tells Lynch, “it’s just that the audience has gone with<br />

it. I don’t understand how we’ve done it, it’s just happened I guess.”<br />

These days, it’s not just in London where grime is rearing its<br />

head. This wider appreciation, both in the UK and further afield is<br />

something which Lynch thinks has stemmed from the accessibility<br />

of music on the internet. “I think a lot of it comes from the YouTube<br />

thing. When I was first getting into it all it was more of a radiobased<br />

thing and there were mixtapes, but the core element was<br />

instrumental on radio and then people spitting on there too, and<br />

now everything is available just by searching online.”<br />

But with mainstream grime hitting new levels of popularity,<br />

what effect does this thoughtful and humble Scouser think it<br />

has on the genre as a whole? “When I first started going to<br />

these kinds of clubs it was very much a niche audience and it<br />

was a select group of people who would go to it, like your music<br />

nerds,” says Lynch. “I don’t view the surge in popularity as a<br />

negative thing by any stretch but I suppose if you want to try and<br />

capitalise on the success of it at the moment than you do have to<br />

have a particular sort of outlook on it. I do see it opening up for a<br />

lot of MCs and producers now more than there ever has been, so<br />

you can’t view it as a negative.”<br />

What’s exceedingly obvious when speaking to Lynch is that<br />

he doesn’t overthink his musical efforts, and a laidback approach<br />

to production has resulted in some remarkable pieces of work<br />

over the years. “With the first album I did, Palm Tree Fire, that<br />

was kind of an accident, I probably wrote that in a period of<br />

around two months,” says Lynch. “It was more I didn’t have much<br />

money at the time, we’d just moved into a new flat and I was just<br />

trying to knuckle down because I wasn’t going out much. I sent<br />

it Tom Lee who runs the label [Local Action] and he was like,<br />

‘You’ve got an album here so we should put it out’.”<br />

Now Lynch has recently released his second album as Slackk,<br />

titled A Little Light, on the revered R&S Records. Touching on<br />

influences from his background in UK funky, early-00s house and<br />

downtempo R&B, all the while keeping in line with his dystopian<br />

sound, again pushing forward and taking the genre in a new<br />

direction. But, in regards to his next move, he’s currently taking<br />

time to appreciate the work he’s put in. “I think it’s important after<br />

you’ve released something to just let it sit there and for people to<br />

take it in before you decide to take your next step – and I suppose<br />

I’ve got to take it in too.” !<br />

Words: Rebecca Frankland / @beccafranko<br />

soundcloud.com/slackk<br />

A Little Light is out now on R&S Records<br />


E V E N T H I G H L I G H T S<br />



THE<br />


SHOW<br />

HAS<br />

LANDED.<br />

Gary Numan | 27 Jul<br />

Brian Wilson | 28 Jul<br />

Micky<br />

Flanagan<br />

1 Jul & 19 - 20 Sep<br />

British Style<br />

Collective<br />

presented by<br />

The Clothes Show<br />

7 - 9 Jul<br />

Enter Shikari | 16 Nov<br />

Queen + Adam Lambert | 28 Nov<br />

Harry Potter and the Chamber<br />

of Secrets TM In Concert With<br />

Live Full Orchestra | 1 Dec<br />

Bowie Starman<br />

25 Nov<br />

Paw Patrol Live | 16 Aug<br />

John Legend<br />

17 Sep<br />

Jimmy Carr<br />

9 - 10 Dec<br />

DreamWorks Animation in Concert | 9 Dec<br />

Liverpool International Horse Show | 29 - 31 Dec<br />

Milton Jones<br />

1 Oct<br />

Ed Byrne<br />

3 Mar 2018<br />

The Australian Pink Floyd Show | 15 Oct<br />

Michael McIntyre | 28 Apr 2018<br />

Legends Live<br />

18 Oct<br />


Katy Perry<br />

21 Jun 2018<br />

John Bishop | 20 - 22 Oct<br />



Norman Jay MBE<br />

LIMF: GOO<br />

Europe’s largest free music festival is on our doorstep, inviting us to join<br />

them in remembering the good times – and revelling in them.<br />

Festival fever is in the air in Liverpool this summer. It can<br />

hardly have escaped your notice, what with the sheer<br />

volume of events coming our way, catering to all musical<br />

and cultural tastes. The region is alive with high-class<br />

happenings, many of them free to attend, a sign that we know<br />

how to satisfy the city’s collective musical impulses. Africa Oyé,<br />

LightNight and the Sgt. Pepper At 50 celebrations have already<br />

brought us performances from a wide variety of world-renowned<br />

artists, these public displays of celebration virtually hardwired<br />

into our notions of civic responsibility. Into that bracket we can<br />


20th-23rd <strong>July</strong>), which this year makes a serious move to be<br />

regarded as the city’s flagship musical event.<br />

Centred around the three days of free Summer Jam activities,<br />

the festival embeds itself in the collective consciousness for one<br />

heady weekend. Spread across multiple stages in the glorious<br />

setting of Sefton Park, LIMF showcases artists from across the<br />

musical spectrum in what is thought to be Europe’s largest free<br />

outdoor music festival. Headlining the Central Stage on Saturday<br />

22nd <strong>July</strong>, GORGON CITY reflect the festival’s intentions. The<br />

production duo have been touring the world incessantly since<br />

their debut album Sirens took off, a record which spawned<br />

the huge chart hit Ready For Your Love. Appearing just before<br />

Gorgon City on the Saturday, DJ and rapper NAUGHTY BOY<br />

brings his dancehall vibes to the party. Having worked with<br />

Beyoncé and been a judge on the 2016 Mercury Prize, Naughty<br />

Boy (real name Shahid Khan) can claim to be one of the most<br />

influential artists in UK urban music. Elsewhere on the Central<br />

Stage, multiple Grammy Award-winner CORINNE BAILEY RAE<br />

stars on Sunday 23rd, showing us why she’s known as the<br />

“bewitching Queen of British soul”. Also on the Sunday, local<br />

Britpop heroes CAST will be whipping the crowd up for a raucous<br />

singalong, in what is becoming a massively popular way for the<br />

festival to sign off.<br />

Since making her musical comeback in 2012, multiinstrumental<br />

pop star KATE NASH has been a massive positive<br />

force across a number of disciplines. Nash has appeared in a<br />

number of feature films, DJed at London and New York Fashion<br />

Week’s most prestigious events, as well as and moonlighting as<br />

Music Editor for breakthrough London-based fashion magazine,<br />

PHOENIX. Nash’s self-released third album Girl Talk realigned<br />

her as an artist with a fierce independent streak with a punchy<br />

message to tell, which she’s built on with the outstanding new<br />

EP Agenda. Empowerment and smashing the patriarchy never<br />

sounded so good.<br />

Going under his stage name FUSE ODG, Nana Richard<br />

Abiona is one the most thrilling urban music talents to emerge<br />

in years. Merging Afrobeat vibes, picked up from his Ghanaian<br />

ancestry, with the huge house sound popular in UK clubs, Fuse<br />

ODG hit the big time with his 2013 single Antenna, which<br />

marked him out as a global superstar. Off the back of his 2014<br />

debut LP T.I.N.A. (standing for This Is New Africa), the rapper<br />

turned down the chance to sing on the Band Aid 30 project in<br />

objection to the negative portrayal of Africa in the song’s lyrics.<br />

Speaking to the Guardian about his problems with charity’s<br />

poverty-obsessed view of Africa, Fuse ODG said “I, like many<br />

others, am sick of the whole concept of Africa – a resourcerich<br />

continent with unbridled potential – always being seen as<br />

diseased, infested and poverty-stricken. In fact, seven out of<br />

10 of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa.” The<br />

world needs the positive outlook of artists like Fuse ODG, and<br />

we’ll be at the front to party with him on the Saturday afternoon<br />

of this year’s LIMF.<br />

Away from the Central Stage, there’s a host of other activity<br />

tucked away in corners of Sefton Park. LIMF’s flagship – and<br />

award-winning – development programme, LIMF Academy, hosts<br />

its own stage across all three days of Summer Jam. The three<br />

Most Ready artists, GAZELLE, REMÉE and MARY MILLER, will<br />

be playing live sets alongside the 17 other Merseyside acts aged<br />

between 13 and 25 who have been highlighted as among those<br />

musicians with the most potential in the region. Witness some of<br />

Summer Jam’s future headline stars in one of the most intimate<br />

of settings. The ItsLiverpool Stage also provides a place for some<br />

of the region’s current bright talents to shine, many of whom<br />

have already come through the LIMF Academy programme.<br />


Kate Nash<br />

Fuse ODG<br />

D TIMES<br />


artists, all of whom have enjoyed great success off the back of<br />

the project’s support. Alongside these, the city’s fertile music<br />

scene is represented by HOOTON TENNIS CLUB, ZUZU, LUMEN,<br />

JO MARY and loads more. We’re also delighted to say that lo-fi<br />

guitar pop star PIXEY will perform on the ItsLiverpool Stage as<br />

our own pick from the myriad talents currently making great<br />

music in the city. Make sure you don’t miss her.<br />

Summer Jam’s offer doesn’t end there either, with plenty<br />

more treats to discover as you wander round the park.<br />

Mellowtone are once again programming a seriously chilled and<br />

fascinating bill to perform of the Bandstand: DAVE OWEN’s<br />

performance with ANWAR ALI is a particular highlight, but we’re<br />

sure you’ll find your own among their high-quality list of acts. A<br />

dedicated DJ Stage and Silent Disco will cater for those who want<br />

more of a beat-heavy way of celebrating the weekend, and the<br />


will be making their usual trip to Summer Jam’s Central Stage for<br />

a grand classical flourish.<br />

In recent years, LIMF has excelled in bolstering Summer Jam’s<br />

varied activities with a series of commissioned events, bringing<br />

huge names from across the industry to the festival to look into<br />

certain genres or movements in more depth. This year’s LIMF<br />

Presents programme is no different: working under the theme<br />

of ‘Remember The Times’, five different events will explore and<br />

showcase pivotal music moments throughout the decades, which<br />

were the springboard for genres such as hip hop, house and pop.<br />

Opening up the whole festival on Friday 21st <strong>July</strong> with a free<br />

concert on Sefton Park’s Central Stage, GARAGE CLASSICAL<br />

is a celebration of UK garage music with a twist. Curated and<br />

presented by DJ SPOONY, a number of performers from the<br />

genre’s golden age – including KELE LE ROC and ELIZABETH<br />

TROY – will be joined by a 40-strong orchestra from the Royal<br />

Northern College Of Music to present some of this groundbreaking<br />

genre in a new light. Watch out for special guests SO SOLID<br />

CREW and ARTFUL DODGER joining the party too.<br />

The remainder of the LIMF Presents events take place in the<br />

sumptuous setting of Sefton Park’s Palm House, each of them<br />

ticketed to account for the limited space on offer. Kicking off<br />

proceedings on Thursday 20th <strong>July</strong>, legendary DJ NORMAN JAY<br />

hosts GOOD TIMES, looking at the rare groove scene he helped<br />

to develop, which pushed the boundaries of the UK’s emerging<br />

club culture. The following night sees a special event that looks<br />

at the legacy of one of Liverpool’s current musical institutions.<br />

DJ and producer YOUSEF started the clubnight Circus in 2002,<br />

nurturing it to grow into a much-loved record label and club<br />

that is known the world over. Joined by partner in crime LEWIS<br />

BOARDMAN, DJ CLAUDE VON STROKE and special guest JOSH<br />

WINK, CIRCUS: YEAR ONE is a recreation of their classic party<br />

atmosphere, running late into the night.<br />

The following two nights see parties based around more<br />

celebrated scenes from the past few decades. TREVOR NELSON<br />

leads SHOLA AMA and DAMAGE on a barnstorming tour of 90s<br />

RnB with his REMINISCE event, highlighting a lot of the music he<br />

brought to prominence through his Radio 1 show The Rhythm<br />

Nation. DJ STRETCH ARMSTRONG then rounds off the LIMF<br />

Presents series on Sunday night with a delve inside the world of<br />

New York City club life. Based around his book of the same name,<br />

NO SLEEP explores the halcyon days of the hip hop-dominated<br />

club scene in the city that ran between the late-80s and late-90s.<br />

In one breathless weekend, LIMF supplies us all with a great<br />

reason to get outside and indulge in some good times. Whether<br />

you’re looking for family-friendly fun as you recline in the sun, or<br />

more of a hedonistic experience, you can find just what you need.<br />

There’s no excuse not to get involved. !<br />

Words: Christopher Torpey / @CATorp<br />

limfestival.com<br />

LIMF takes place in Sefton Park between 20th and 23rd <strong>July</strong>. All<br />

LIMF Summer Jam activities are free, but a number of the LIMF<br />

Presents events are ticketed. Check limfestival.com for full details.<br />

Turn to page 20 now for an interview with Jane Weaver, who is<br />

appearing at LIMF Summer Jam on Sunday 23rd <strong>July</strong>.<br />






The architect of noir cinema is a master of turning your deepest, weirdest dreams into gripping<br />

art. Del Pike delves inside the murky world of the cult director and musician, looking at how he<br />

brings sound and moving image together with such chilling effect.<br />

The undisputed Godfather of modern surreal cinema,<br />

DAVID LYNCH, has inspired generations of like-minded<br />

misfits since he unleashed his startling film debut, the<br />

beautiful nightmare Eraserhead in 1977. Since that<br />

release, Lynch has become as much an enigma as the films he<br />

produces, to categorise him as simply a filmmaker would be<br />

in some way to miss the point. As his prolific film career has<br />

progressed, he has utilised his vast bank of extra-curricular abilities<br />

to enhance and personalise his work, his more practical skills borne<br />

from the handiwork he was forced to carry out to fund Eraserhead,<br />

during long breaks in filming. From physically hand-building sets,<br />

including the unnerving furniture in 1997’s Lost Highway, to<br />

creating his own soundscapes alongside collaborator Alan Splet,<br />

standing mic in hand in vast factories and industrial workplaces.<br />

Lynch’s appearance is as instantly recognisable as fellow<br />

eccentric surrealists, Magritte and Dali; with his shock of grey<br />

Orwellian hair, constant smouldering cigarette, tidy-suits and<br />

up-to-the-chin, button-down shirts, he is almost a work of art<br />

himself. The area that Lynch seems to have found most success<br />

in alongside his filmmaking has undoubtedly been his music.<br />

Where other great American directors like Martin Scorsese and<br />

Francis Ford Coppola weave found music into their films to set an<br />

era or establish a mood with flourishes of genius – or, in the case<br />

of Tarantino, to exude cool – Lynch takes the very same idea and<br />

runs amok with it. By linking carefully selected tunes and passages<br />

of music with his own compositions or with his musical associate<br />

Angelo Badalamenti, the scores of his films become as integral as<br />

the narratives.<br />

To enter the world of Lynch cannot simply stop at a trip<br />

to the cinema, you are either IN or OUT – no compromise. An<br />

understanding of Lynch’s music is a requirement: within the<br />

enigmatic compositions and choices that Lynch presents exists<br />

humour, meaning, terror, grief and mystery.<br />

Fans are currently experiencing this right now in the return<br />

of Lynch’s seminal TV show, Twin Peaks. Originally planned to air<br />

for just nine episodes, a disruption which saw Lynch walking out<br />

temporarily has led to a longer run of 18, with Lynch directing all<br />

shows (he only helmed selected shows in the original run). This<br />

has meant that the original plan to launch in January 2016 was<br />

severely delayed and the show returned in June this year.<br />

In the time since the original series was aired, TV has played<br />

host to many imitators (M Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines<br />

being a contender for closest homage), but the show has never<br />

been bettered. A true example of event TV, Twin Peaks had the<br />

world on alert with speculation over who killed Laura Palmer,<br />

the prom queen washed up on the shore at the start of the first<br />

episode. At the time Lynch suggested that the first episode,<br />

a feature-length pilot, was an exercise in grieving and this is<br />

certainly the case. From the early scenes of Sheriff Andy crying at<br />

the lakeside through the elongated sequences of Laura’s weeping<br />

parents, the grief barely lets up. Badalamenti’s score creates<br />

an all-enveloping stage for the grief to play against. A suite of<br />

yearning arrangements that never quite accelerates beyond a<br />

moaning sway. The repetition of the themes does not irritate at<br />

any time, however, and the audience gradually becomes aware of<br />

each passage in relation to the character on-screen. A rhythmic<br />

pattern develops that enables the viewer to predict which passage<br />

of music will occur by a single establishing shot of a house or bar.<br />

The only respite comes in the school and police station sequences<br />

where a slow jazz swing comes mischievously into play, a tune<br />

which the audience soon realises heralds the much-welcomed<br />

interludes of dreamlike fantasy or twisted comedy.<br />

That the Twin Peaks soundtrack was the centrepiece of a<br />

unique performance by American experimental noise-pop group<br />

Xiu Xiu at Liverpool’s Kazimier in 2015 with subsequent album,<br />

should not come as a surprise. With added electronica, their tribute<br />

is a luxurious experience. This followed up a singular Lynch event<br />

at the Barbican in London earlier that year that saw the likes of<br />

Stealing Sheep, Mick Harvey and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth<br />

performing songs from Lynch films. The collection of Twin Peaks<br />

tunes reflects a dark-as-hell otherworld that has kept followers<br />

waiting for a quarter of a century to discover even more secrets<br />

within. The White Lodge in the show is a place in the pines<br />

where a dwarf dances and talks backwards, the ghost of Laura<br />

Palmer holds court and the iconic image of red velvet curtains<br />

and monochrome zig-zag flooring becomes the stuff of very<br />

real nightmares, all seen through the night terrors of FBI Agent<br />

Dale Cooper. Badalamenti’s scoring throughout these sequences<br />

creates an unnerving experience that could only come from a<br />

collaboration with Lynch. Largely silent bar a sonic hum or lone<br />

bell, the silence serves to highlight the bizarre reverse dialogue.<br />

When the dwarf begins his hypnotic dance and Badalamenti’s<br />

Dance Of The Dream Man kicks in, a shuffling sax led jazz ramble,<br />

it is welcome relief and a reminder that humour is never too far<br />

away once more.<br />

The Twin Peaks Theme (Falling) is a forlorn piece, bringing<br />

comfort to fans with each journey. Tinged with both sadness<br />

and hope, the piece – a collaboration between Badalamenti and<br />

Lynch muse, Julee Cruise – resulted in a vocal version which was a<br />

semi-successful single, bringing Twin Peaks momentarily into the<br />

mainstream. Lynch enjoys nightclub settings which is where we first<br />

see Cruise singing her signature tune in the Twin Peaks Roadhouse.<br />

The sleazy places where these people meet provide a perfect<br />

backdrop for the sordid activities of the bar owners, local teenagers<br />

gone bad and small-town drug dealers. In the movie spin off, Twin<br />

Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Lynch takes his bar-room music to<br />

extremes placing his own The Pink Room against scenes of drunken<br />

teenage sexual mis-adventure. More violent than Badalamenti’s<br />

contributions, the piece drones on for what feels like an eternity,<br />

drowning out the dialogue completely. DVD optional subtitles reveal<br />

that it is fairly nonsensical dialogue anyway. It is one of the most<br />

startling scenes in the film and a first watch is petrifying.<br />

The Twin Peaks musical project acts as a blueprint for the rest<br />

of his work and is a masterclass in how to bring all emotions to the<br />

fore with a range of startlingly diverse styles.<br />

Eraserhead suggested immediately a life-long marriage of<br />

music as experimental as the images it accompanied. A work by<br />

Lynch, Alan Splet and Peter Iver, Eraserhead’s score is a symphony<br />

in churning machinery and grinding cogs. Leaning heavily on<br />

sampled tracks by Fats Waller, drowned out by the din of the<br />

Philadelphia factories, a world is created that is at once horrific,<br />

but, given time, addictive. The centrepiece of the film is the<br />

mesmeric In Heaven, composed by Iver and sung by the lady in<br />

the radiator, actress Laurel Near. Possibly Lynch’s signature tune<br />

given the weight of cult admiration the track has garnered, the<br />

song accompanies the iconic image of Near, placed centre stage on<br />

the recurring black and white op-art stage-floor (hand stencilled<br />

and painted by Lynch, obviously), velvet curtains à la White<br />

Lodge, performing initially a meek child-like dance, pausing only<br />

to squidge elongated sperm creatures with her heels. The song is<br />

hypnotic and irresistible and, despite her grotesque appearance,<br />

we are all drawn in. That the song has been covered by such<br />

luminaries as Devo, Bauhaus, Modest Mouse, Faith No More and<br />

notable Lynch fanatics, Pixies, is testament to the song’s charm.<br />

“To enter the world of<br />

Lynch cannot simply stop<br />

at a trip to the cinema,<br />

you are either IN or OUT –<br />

there’s no compromise”<br />

Lynch’s recognisable style came into play in his mid-to-late<br />

80s period leading up to and including Twin Peaks. Blue Velvet<br />

(1985) was Lynch’s ode to Middle Class American suburbia and<br />

the flipside to The American Dream. Reflecting, to an extent, his<br />

own upbringing, he modelled the main character Jeffrey Beaumont<br />

(TP’s Kyle MacLaughlin) on a younger self and embraced the<br />

favourite movie genres of teen and noir. The combination of<br />

Badalamenti’s startling lush Hollywood golden age score mixed<br />

with 50s and 60s classics provided the film with a retro feel<br />

despite its contemporary setting. The title track, Blue Velvet finds<br />

Lynch’s future wife Isabella Rossellini crooning the song typically<br />

against velvet curtains in a seedy nightclub, predating Julee Cruise<br />

by five years. The song is given a sinister context as later we see<br />

Dennis Hopper’s evil Frank Booth stuffing pieces of blue velvet into<br />

Rossellini’s mouth during a harrowing sex act. Roy Orbison’s In<br />

Dreams with its disturbing “The candy coloured clown they call the<br />

sandman” lyric, is similarly made grotesque by the lipstick smeared<br />

Dean Stockwell’s delivery, in a hell-hole brothel, once again in front<br />

of tarnished velvet curtains. The inclusion of bubblegum post-war<br />

pop is a recurring motif in Lynch’s films, notably in Mulholland<br />

Drive some years later, but his move into rural Americana in<br />

Blue Velvet’s successor, Wild At Heart (1990) packed a more<br />

disturbing yet humorous punch. Nic Cage’s rocky output has been<br />

at times unforgivable, but look no further than Wild At Heart to<br />

see what could have been. Based on the Sailor and Lula stories<br />

of American pulp writer Barry Gifford, the film sees ex-con Cage<br />

and his teenage girlfriend played by Laura Dern on a road trip<br />

across America’s Midwest. The heightened violence in the film,<br />

played against Powermad’s Slaughterhouse, brought new levels of<br />

disturbia to Lynch’s work, and gave Badalamenti a broader palette<br />

to work from. The soundtrack album mixed old time rock and roll<br />

from Gene Vincent and Them with modern work from Chris Isaak<br />

and Rubber City. Cage’s Sailor is based around the kitsch idea<br />

of an Elvis impersonator and he strikes the poses and curls his<br />

lip accordingly. Lynch makes Cage actually perform the Presley<br />

classics Love Me Tender and Love Me to create a fully formed love<br />

song to a lost age of American film and music culture.<br />

It is not surprising given Lynch’s penchant for surprise that he<br />

stalled in embracing the cool in his music until middle age. 1997’s<br />

Lost Highway formed a catalyst for Lynch to show his acceptable<br />

tastes in modern popular music whilst allowing Badalamenti<br />

to supplement his already rich catalogue of scores with more<br />

beautiful arrangements. The film opens with a fender POV of<br />

a speeding tarmac against one of the director’s most inspired<br />

choices of non-original soundtrack music; Bowie’s I’m Deranged.<br />

The standout track from his Outside album from ’95 is a frantic,<br />

dark and haunting piece which reflects the mood of the film<br />

succinctly. The soundtrack also saw inclusions from Rammstein,<br />

The Smashing Pumpkins, Trent Reznor, Barry Adamson, Marilyn<br />

Manson and Nine Inch Nails and the film included cameo’s from<br />

Manson and Henry Rollins. Perhaps the most powerful piece of<br />

music in the film comes from 4AD’s This Mortal Coil and their<br />

perfect version of Tim Buckley’s Song To The Siren. Played to<br />

a halogen drenched sex scene between Patricia Arquette and<br />

Balthazar Getty as they make out on white desert sands, the song<br />

is unfortunately absent on the soundtrack album.<br />

Lynch’s induction into the world of self-penned and hip music<br />

appears to have encouraged him to experiment further with his<br />

own compositions. Fans had already heard glimpses of what was<br />

to come on the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me soundtrack, notably<br />

the previously mentioned The Pink Room, the ferocious A Real<br />

Indication and The Black Dog Runs At Night.<br />

In 2001, Lynch collaborated with Dean Hurley on a soundtrack<br />

to an exhibition of Lynch’s art and photography. The Air Is On Fire<br />

is categorised as a soundscape rather than a collection of songs<br />

and is the closest to pure David Lynch music as you are likely to<br />

find. Atmospheric airs with slamming doors and whistling winds<br />

dominate the recording and to close your eyes and drift away<br />

would be to risk an encounter in your own Black Lodge. 2009’s<br />

incredible Dark Night Of The Soul – a music/artwork crossover<br />

album with Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse – served as further<br />

preparation for Lynch’s coming solo debut.<br />

2011 was Lynch’s breakthrough year in terms of gaining<br />

recognition as a valid player in the music world. Another Dean<br />

Hurley collaboration with vocalist Chrysta Bell on the This Train<br />

album spawned the singles Bird Of Flames, Real Love and All<br />

The Things. The sound directly soaks up elements from all of<br />

Lynch’s previous works and clears the decks for his first bonafide<br />

solo LP, Crazy Clown Time. A remarkable album that relies<br />

heavily on Lynch’s own distorted vocal patterns and bass-heavy<br />

thrumming and drumming, it provides a scary as hell insight into<br />

the mind of the musician. The lead single Crazy Clown Time and<br />

its equally deranged video show a man at the very peak of his<br />

creative powers, and the Pinky’s Dream single with vocals from<br />

Karen O opened up his music to a wider audience. The album has<br />

been widely praised and is undoubtedly one of the factors in the<br />

re-appraisal of his music by contemporary artists that we have<br />

witnessed in recent years. His follow up, the equally outstanding<br />

The Big Dream (2013), inspired the stunning Lykke Li collaboration<br />

on the single I’m Waiting Here.<br />

All of this work has shown Lynch to be one of the most multifaceted<br />

artists of our time and this does not even include his work<br />

in advertising, music videos and meditation manuals. All hail the<br />

Dark Knight Of The Soul. !<br />

Words: Del Pike / @del_pike<br />

Illustration: Nick Booton / bruistudio.com<br />



“Put what you’re good<br />

at into making the<br />

world a better place to<br />

try and restore some<br />

order in the chaos”<br />


The genre-melding sonic auteur returns with a<br />

dazzling LP that sees her filter the history of the<br />

universe through her analogue synth setup.<br />

There can’t be many more popular figures to have<br />

emerged from the recent psych revival than JANE<br />

WEAVER. Since the release of her 2014 LP The Silver<br />

Globe, Weaver has been hailed for bringing a light,<br />

airy touch to a genre that often gets clogged up by weighty<br />

bass blasts and overblown fuzz. It helps that she has been<br />

able to incorporate her love for analogue synths and obscure<br />

soundtracks within her strain of cosmic pop – but that would still<br />

all fall flat if it weren’t for the quality of her songwriting, which<br />

provides the structure for the spectral sonic patterns to hang on.<br />

On new album Modern Kosmology, Weaver’s omnivorous<br />

musical endeavours have taken her to a higher plane, one which<br />

sees acid-folk sit alongside ambient drones to striking effect.<br />

Ahead of a busy summer for Weaver – which sees her play<br />

Liverpool three times between <strong>July</strong> and September, as well as<br />

appearing at Bluedot festival – Matthew Hogarth caught up with<br />

her to find out how her modern masterpiece came together.<br />

First and foremost, congratulations on Modern Kosmology’s<br />

reception. How long did it take to write the album, and what<br />

inspired it?<br />

I started writing it back when I was on tour with the last record,<br />

so about 18 months really. I wrote a big pool of songs but I<br />

didn’t decide which ones I wanted until a few weeks before I<br />

went in the studio. I ended up going in and out of the studio<br />

over a period of two weeks. I know a lot of bands do two weeks<br />

and there’s your album, but I find that really hard to do! So, it<br />

took some time but it feels worth it. The inspiration was to do<br />

something a little different from the last record. I wanted to do<br />

something a bit clearer production-wise, keeping it psychedelic<br />

but with a little less space echo.<br />

What does Modern Kosmology actually mean?<br />

At the beginning of the 1900s, people started incorporating<br />

scientific discovery into their artwork and I became fascinated<br />

with this. I started reading into cosmology, the history of the<br />

universe. At the time of writing there was a lot of upsetting<br />

things happening in our universe and I was trying to incorporate<br />

how this all made me feel into my work without being as direct<br />

as, say, Sleaford Mods. I’m more abstract. I thought I should call<br />

the record Modern Kosmology and that it would be the study of<br />

the history of our own universe: trying to put what you’re good<br />

at into making the world a better place to try and restore some<br />

order in the chaos. I suppose this record is my tongue-in-cheek<br />

take on the current climate.<br />

How did you find the analogue recording process, in<br />

particular working with Can’s Malcolm Mooney?<br />

I just go to my local studio, which happens to be mainly an<br />

analogue studio. The owner is a keen collector of synths and<br />

keyboards so there are lots of instruments just scattered around.<br />

It’s a bit like a museum. All of that was a big part of the process,<br />

to be able to experiment and use different bits of machinery.<br />

There are certain keyboards that I used on the last record that<br />

I don’t own, as they’re massively expensive, but they’re in the<br />

studio. I know my limitations and I know what I can do, so there<br />

are certain Korgs and Minimoogs that have crossed over to this<br />

record as well as some new 80s synths. I still use my Casio<br />

MT45 which is on everything I do. I’m not a snob about what I<br />

play: if I like the way it looks and sounds I’ll use it. I appreciate<br />

people who admire their synths, but I feel that the snobbery<br />

needs to stop.<br />

Malcolm got involved towards the end of the record because I<br />

wanted him to do a bit of spoken word for the album. He is a<br />

friend of the family but I was still pretty nervous asking him. Just<br />

because they’re a friend doesn’t mean you can just expect them to<br />

say yes. But, luckily, I asked him pretty tentatively and he agreed.<br />

There’s a fair amount of birdsong on the record. Could you tell<br />

us a little more about that?<br />

Well, there are three interludes done by my husband, Andy<br />

Votel, and it was him who brought the birdsong onto the record.<br />

It was electronic elements combined with nature. Part of that<br />

was inspired by an artist called Hilma Af Klint who could be<br />

seen as one of the first ever abstract painters. She used to paint<br />

with automatic drawing and she would hold séances and paint<br />

during these séances. But she was also a trained landscape<br />

painter. So, I was trying to create scenery really.<br />

How has your process changed between albums?<br />

It’s a mixture really. Sometimes songs will just come to me<br />

like an orchestra but other times it’s just a skeleton. It can be<br />

difficult to put pen [to] paper. I usually demo on my keyboard at<br />

home before going into the studio, either with the full band or<br />

just me and the producer: it really does depend. I don’t normally<br />

do lyrics til the last minute. I went off to Anglesey to write, with<br />

a bag of notebooks and little tatty scraps of paper like a scruff!<br />

Anglesey has a pretty rich history of druids and pagans. I think<br />

it was one of the first places the Romans invaded. I used to go<br />

as a kid so I wanted to visit certain places from my childhood; I<br />

stayed in a hotel by myself in Trearddur Bay and it was nice and<br />

quiet. One place was a haunted house and I wanted to go and<br />

write in there, but, annoyingly, there was a film crew in there<br />

all week. But any island has a certain feel to it and Anglesey<br />

certainly has a cosmic, stone circle feel to it.<br />

Alexis Petridis named you one of the best songwriters of the<br />

psych revival in his recent review of Modern Kosmology. What<br />

is it about the LP, and your last one The Silver Globe, that<br />

seems to have captured people’s hearts?<br />

Having been a musician for so long, I got bored of guitars and<br />

needed to do something different on my own. But, having done<br />

a couple of solo projects without the band, I made an executive<br />

decision to start working with the band again for The Silver<br />

Globe. I wanted to incorporate the heavier electronic elements<br />

with a greater pop sensibility, and I guess that’s why people<br />

enjoy it. My kids like it, so that’s a good thing!<br />

Finally, what can people expect from your live show who<br />

haven’t seen it before?<br />

Well, it will be with the full band and I do act stuff out<br />

sometimes. I never watch any footage of myself live because I<br />

never want to know what I look like – I do lose myself a fair bit!<br />

This time round we’ve also got visuals from Sam Wiehl [The<br />

Coral and Forest Swords collaborator] as well, so it should be<br />

even more of a spectacle. !<br />

Words: Matthew Hogarth<br />

janeweavermusic.com<br />

Jane Weaver plays LIMF Summer Jam on 23rd <strong>July</strong>, Skeleton<br />

Coast Festival on 5th August, and Liverpool Psych Fest on 22nd<br />

September.<br />

Modern Kosmology is out now on Fire Recordings.<br />


URBAN<br />

As the football season is<br />

in temporary recess, we<br />

look at a photography<br />

project that captures<br />

the hopes and<br />

aspirations born<br />

from our childhood<br />

theatres of dreams.<br />

Football is everywhere, you can’t escape it. The Premier<br />

League and all other major competitions are in the close<br />

season, but that hasn’t stemmed the flood of news and<br />

rumours that clog up newspapers and Twitter timelines,<br />

with the grinning faces of Ronaldo and Paul Pogba encouraging<br />

you to consume football in some way. In recent years, there’s<br />

been a backlash against the raging spread of modern football, by<br />

those who attach a sense of romanticism to the beautiful game<br />

that is at odds with the money-obsessed and endlessly hyped<br />

TV coverage. Regular Bido photographer Michael Kirkham is one<br />

of those people who sees something nostalgic in the makeshift<br />

arenas made by children to host their games of high fantasy:<br />

more chalk and brick than jumpers for goalposts. Here, he tells us<br />

about the creation of his URBAN GOALS photography project.<br />

You must have passed these places a lot of times before the<br />

idea jumped to mind for the project. How long did it take<br />

for the idea to come together?<br />

Yeah, one particular goal in Granby actually. I’d pass it a<br />

couple of times a week and it got me thinking about the kids<br />

that use them. Their goals in life, their own urban goals. From<br />

there the idea for the project grew pretty quickly; within a<br />

couple of months I’d shot 70-odd goals in Liverpool and was<br />

searching Google maps of towns and cities all over the UK.<br />

Two years later, I’ve photographed around 800-1000 from<br />

Glasgow to London and everywhere in between.<br />

The image of a goal painted on a blank wall is a universal<br />

one that people from Liverpool to Lisbon will understand.<br />

Have you had much reaction from places outside of<br />

Liverpool on this project?<br />

The reaction has been massive, yes. I get people posting<br />

goals to the Twitter account from all over the world. There<br />

is such a fascination with the English game too, the history<br />

of it all, that transpires through into the project’s appeal, no<br />

doubt. The project’s been published across Europe in various<br />

magazines and papers, and has a strong following in Holland,<br />

Germany, Italy and Spain. I’m hoping to take the project to<br />

these places with time too. I’ve already found goals in Spain,<br />

Ireland, France, Germany and Italy.<br />

You must have grown up playing street football with goals<br />

like this as a child. Do you lament that fact that there aren’t<br />

as many sites around urban areas now?<br />

Most definitely, I think loads of us did, right? The nostalgia<br />

of it all is big pull for the project. More should be invested<br />

in spaces for this when areas are regenerated though.<br />

I’ve noticed a huge correlation between regeneration and<br />

abundance of sites. Leisure and sport seem low on many<br />

councils’ priority lists when planning such things.<br />

Is this a sight that is becoming a dying breed?<br />

I don’t know about dying breed, I come across new goals often<br />

enough. It’s the materials that seem to have changed though, paint<br />

has been swapped for chalk. That makes the goals temporary, I find<br />

they crop up in the school holidays only to be washed away by the<br />

inevitable rain some weeks or months later. I do love the old ones<br />

though, you can feel the history attached to them, paint peeling over<br />

the decades leaving a ghost-like presence on the wall.<br />

Each of the places you’ve shot looks like a blank canvas for<br />

people (mainly children) to project their dreams on to – not just<br />

footballing ones. How important is it to have these places, do you<br />

think?<br />

Every child needs dreams, they help shape our aspirations in life.<br />

Who are you without dreams, goals and aspirations after all? Spaces<br />

like this help form those ambitions, and they are needed all the<br />

more in the kinds of neighbourhoods you find these goals in. One<br />

thing I hope to highlight with the project is the lack of funding for<br />

these places in our communities. It is certainly an issue that needs<br />

addressing and I hope this project can help raise the subject in a<br />

wider context.<br />

Is this your first foray into street photography?<br />

No, I’ve been shooting street photography for a good few years now.<br />

I’ve photographed many protests and demonstrations in Liverpool<br />

since about 2011 and I’m developing a strong body of work around<br />

that. Street photography is a passion and it drew me into the<br />

profession. There are so many great stories told on the streets of<br />

Liverpool too, and the people so full of life that it makes my job easy. !<br />

Words: Dave Kitson<br />

Photography: Michael Kirkham / michaelkirkhamphotography.co.uk<br />

urbangoals.com<br />

Follow @UrbanGoals on Twitter for more updates and exhibitions.<br />


GOALS<br />





to the next level<br />

Start<br />

September<br />

<strong>2017</strong><br />

Short courses




AND<br />

THE<br />







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HANNAH’S<br />


Blossoming from a promising solo project into a quartet,<br />

HANNAH’S LITTLE SISTER are a lo-fi pop sensation in waiting.<br />

“Being a part of this<br />

younger generation,<br />

sometimes you can feel<br />

a bit voiceless - singing<br />

about those things adds<br />

a little safety blanket”<br />

trashy, but it’s reyt enough,” is the<br />

response of Hannah’s Little Sister when asked<br />

to describe their music. It doesn’t do justice to<br />

“Kinda<br />

their gloriously grungey aesthetic but it’s telltale<br />

of an offbeat humour that permeates their outlook and output.<br />

Originally the project of singer, songwriter and guitarist, Meg,<br />

Hannah’s Little Sister has developed into a millennial mashup<br />

group, with Will, a friend from Meg’s hometown of Burnley, and<br />

Ash and Lukas, friends from university, completing the outfit.<br />

Without an original recording to be found online (minus their<br />

contribution to one of our Bido Lito! Membership bundles – you<br />

heard it here first), they’re taking a considered approach to their<br />

work and the group are not in any big hurry to flood your Spotify<br />

recommendations just yet. “Unfortunately, we’re keeping all our<br />

songs under maximum UV protection for the summer. But maybe<br />

autumn will let something loose… you’ll just have to come see<br />

us at a show for now!” Meg enthuses. You’ll only get a couple of<br />

chances to catch them live over the summer months, too – the<br />

<strong>July</strong> Bido Lito! Social at Shipping Forecast and LIMF’s Summer<br />

Jam – after those, they plan to spend the rest of summer “being<br />

hermits and getting our heads down with writing and recording<br />

for our first release”.<br />

When asked how where they’re from affects their writing,<br />

Meg does not beat around the bush: “I think where we’re from<br />

and how we grew up creates the biggest drive for this project to<br />

be honest. We’re all from small towns up North so have had that<br />

working-class upbringing of being stuck in a small place with not<br />

much to do and having to learn to graft to get an opportunity.”<br />

Drawing on her experiences, she adds “for me personally,<br />

working at a posh hotel throughout school and then coming to<br />

a university kind of allowed me to see this other reality… It’s not<br />

the biggest struggle, and I’m not looking for a pity party by any<br />

means, but it is definitely a difference of living, and one that some<br />

people aren’t really aware of.” A struggle that is felt too deeply by<br />

too many, it’s symptomatic of the ever-widening inequalities in<br />

contemporary Britain. But how do they incorporate this into their<br />

music? “It inspires me to shove my accent down people’s throats<br />

and be a bit rowdy moaning about it, and it makes us wear our<br />

backgrounds on show.”<br />

Driven, angsty power-pop songs delivered in an unapologetic<br />

Burnley accent is Hannah’s Little Sister’s way of finding their<br />

outlet. “I think being a part of this younger generation, sometimes<br />

you can feel a bit voiceless – being pigeon-holed or just being<br />

bogged down in pressures and insecurities you can’t help<br />

surrounding yourself with when being a twenty-something,” Meg<br />

discloses before adding “but for me, songwriting and singing<br />

about those things adds a little safety blanket to what I’m talking<br />

about.” In creating their own little bed of comfort, Hannah’s<br />

Little Sister extend that warmth to the lucky folks who come into<br />

contact with their music.<br />

soundcloud.com/hannahslittlesister<br />



Vulnerable DIY guitar pop with some electronic<br />

undercurrents: meet BILL NICKSON, the bedroom<br />

guitarist with a heart of song.<br />

How did you got into music?<br />

Music has pretty much always been a part of my life in some<br />

way but I’d say I began to take it a bit more seriously when I had<br />

exposure to the sheer amount of independent music released<br />

online. I record and produce all of my music myself at home<br />

and will probably continue to do so, mainly because I’ve always<br />

preferred the relaxed, natural methods of recording at home<br />

opposed to the time constraint of a studio.<br />

What are your plans for the rest of the year?<br />

I’m currently finishing up another EP: it’s a bit meatier than<br />

my last few though since this one will be about seven tracks.<br />

Alongside that, I’ve also got plans to head up to Scotland in the<br />

near future to play a show or two for GoldMold Records. If you<br />

haven’t heard of them, they are a really cool tape label based in<br />

Glasgow who released my Time EP on cassette last year – much<br />

love for them!<br />

the mindset and approach to music that I’ve had. I’ve always felt<br />

pretty individualistic and isolated when it comes to my approach<br />

to music, and obviously being separated from the city has given<br />

me more of a drive to ‘prove’ myself, if that makes sense. Nothing<br />

against Wirral though… it can be a great, varied place to live, but<br />

also a very isolating place at the same time.<br />

Did you have any particular artists in mind as an influence<br />

when you started out? What about them do you think you’ve<br />

taken into your music?<br />

I’d say my two main influences starting out would be Daniel<br />

Johnston and Brian Wilson. Both artists have such a pure outlook<br />

on the creation of music and conveying honest emotion through<br />

sound, whether it be the way in which they produce the music or<br />

their songwriting. I like to think their approach has rubbed off on<br />

me a bit when it comes to how I produce my work, especially as I<br />

consider both of them geniuses in their own unique ways.<br />

“I’ve always preferred<br />

the relaxed, natural<br />

methods of recording<br />

at home opposed to<br />

the time constraint<br />

of a studio”<br />

How does where you are from affect your writing?<br />

Being born and raised in Wirral has definitely had an effect on<br />

soundcloud.com/billnickson<br />

INDIGO<br />

MOON<br />

The fearsome quintet’s<br />

frontwoman (Ash) and guitarist<br />

(Adam) let us in on the melting pot<br />

of influences that are behind the<br />

group’s storming new EP Anatomy.<br />

“Music is everything<br />

we do! Our lives<br />

revolve around it”<br />

Who are Indigo Moon? Who does what in the band?<br />

We met while at Uni and now we’re adopted Liverpudlians.<br />

Except Adam, who’s the real thing. Ash sings, Hannah plays bass,<br />

Lisa on the drums. Brad and Adam both play guitar and Adam<br />

messes around with a synth too.<br />

If you had to describe your music in a sentence, what would<br />

you say?<br />

Dreamy psych and synths with big vocals and noisy riffs.<br />

What’s the latest release you’ve had out – and what does it say<br />

about you?<br />

We’ve just released our latest EP Anatomy along with a video for<br />

the final track Xin. We’re really excited about it and we love how<br />

the new songs turned out. They were finished off just before we<br />

recorded with the amazing Sam Bloor at his studio in Stoke and<br />

they came together really well. We think the new songs really<br />

show what we can do and the video hints to the energy of our<br />

live shows, which has always been a big part of the music.<br />

Did you have any particular artists in mind as an influence<br />

when you started out? What about them do you think you’ve<br />

taken into your music?<br />

We started out with the intention of trying something with<br />

a psych/shoegaze influence but it became a mix of that with<br />

Black Sabbath, Wolfmother, Warpaint, Pond, Pink Floyd, My<br />

Bloody Valentine, Tame Impala… all sorts! To be honest, we’re all<br />

influenced by a lot of different stuff and that helps to shape our<br />

music. Adam likes quite a raw sound whereas Brad’s obsessed<br />

with pedals and it works well. Hannah combines her crazy<br />

melodic basslines with Lisa’s drums – and Ashley’s voice is<br />

versatile enough to fit into all the madness.<br />

Why is music important to you?<br />

It’s everything we do! Our lives revolve around it. And we love<br />

how it allows us to bounce around on stage and see the crowd<br />

enjoy it as much as we do.<br />

soundcloud.com/indigomoonmusic<br />



“How do you go<br />

home if you don’t<br />

feel 100% at home<br />

anywhere?”<br />



& THE<br />


Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival<br />

@ Sefton Park Palm House – 16/07<br />

Searching for a place to lay down<br />

your roots is a recurring theme<br />

in the work of the Sudaneseborn<br />

singer, songwriter and<br />

ethnomusicologist behind<br />


Born in Khartoum to human rights activist parents,<br />

Alsarah was forced to leave her birthplace at eight<br />

years of age, when she relocated to Yemen with her<br />

family. After civil war broke out in her new country,<br />

they moved to the United States where she has resided from<br />

the age of 12. Labelled the new princess of East African retro<br />

pop, Alsarah and her band The Nubatones have released two<br />

albums, Silt in 2014 and last year’s Manara. Both praised for<br />

their harmonies and rich pentatonic sounds and arrangements,<br />

the albums combine Nubian music from 1960s and 1970s with<br />

Eastern instrumentation. Alsarah speaks to Cath Bore about the<br />

sense of home in her music, from her home in New York.<br />

How did moving to America influence your music making, and<br />

did the place itself inspire you in musical terms?<br />

I wasn’t dealing well with regular school. Being an immigrant<br />

kid, being an African kid, there was a lot of harassment being a<br />

foreigner, having an accent and learning English. So, I ended up<br />

cutting classes a lot and ending up in the public library. Honestly,<br />

if it wasn’t for the public library I don’t even think I would speak<br />

English. I would spend all day reading, for free, because I couldn’t<br />

afford to buy books. And they had this huge enormous music<br />

listening section and I just spent my life there. I would browse<br />

through music from every part of the world. From there began<br />

a deep love affair with collecting. That library gave me such a<br />

massive amount of music, right in front of me.<br />

Around the corner from the library was a used record shop so I<br />

would go back and forth between them, looking up countries and<br />

songs and if I couldn’t buy something from the record shop I’d look<br />

for it in the library. I could dive into the idea of different cultures<br />

sounding differently and what that really looks like.<br />

Both of your albums with The Nubatones, Silt and Manara, carry<br />

themes of home, a sense of nostalgia for times and places in your<br />

past. And you’ve stated that returning to the East African sound<br />

is your way of going home, in a way.<br />

The entire birth of The Nubatones was inspired by the concept of<br />

the songs of return. I was coming back to those songs, I’d heard<br />

them growing up in Sudan and going to visit my family in Egypt<br />

and I hadn’t related to them on such an emotional level until living<br />

in the States as another form of immigrant. These songs were all<br />

about feeling like an immigrant in a strange land but you don’t<br />

know why you feel that way. You want to go to a home you can’t go<br />

to anymore and will never go to. I visit home a lot and each time I’m<br />

aware that I can’t live there anymore. And how do you go home if<br />

you don’t feel 100% at home anywhere?<br />

There’s a definite sense of loss in your albums, a sadness, but real<br />

optimism too, and a celebratory feel in many ways.<br />

I think people think of nostalgia only as a sad thing. Nostalgia is a<br />

complex set of emotions. My music doesn’t only live in nostalgia, it<br />

remembers things while looking forward. For example, Silt is about<br />

the mud we came from, and Manara is the road we’re trying to take.<br />

Being an immigrant is not a stand-still thing and I’m still wondering,<br />

is it a permanent or temporary condition? I know being a refugee<br />

is a temporary condition, although some places force people into<br />

situations where being a refugee can be almost become a permanent<br />

situation. It should be temporary so that all that’s left is living, living in<br />

a different way, putting down roots. That used to be a really common<br />

thing: they’d [immigrants] have songs about home, or whatever you<br />

can remember, some things to be sad over but be really excited about<br />

your future. And that’s the whole purpose of music!<br />

You’ve also said that The Nubatones grew out of a shared sense<br />

of being an immigrant.<br />

New York is a small scene for people who want to do music not in<br />

English. There’s this thing about the world music scene I’ve noticed<br />

globally, it’s beginning to shift now but any music that’s not in<br />

English has to spend much of its time proving to people that it’s not<br />

traditional, and it doesn’t want to be traditional. You’re just a singersongwriter<br />

like any other singer-songwriter, because no one who<br />

practices music comes out of a vacuum. You have to come out of a<br />

tradition of some kind.<br />

Rami [El-Aasser, percussionist] and I would have these supper<br />

clubs. I would go to his house and he would come to mine and we’d<br />

cook for each other these elaborate meals and we would play a ton<br />

of music and talk and dissect and talk and dissect. There’s so many<br />

sounds that were invented by immigrants that we think of today as<br />

tradition but that were not traditional, and, in fact, [were] invented<br />

by immigrants in a sense because they just wanted to visit home<br />

through the music. At the same time, it will always be different,<br />

because music is like a bowl of water: it will constantly shift to<br />

reflect what is around it. Even if you’re playing the same song on<br />

the same instrument – you put two different people behind it, and,<br />

even if they are reading the same notes, and it will sound different.<br />

That is the magical thing to me about living in New York. That being<br />

in the diaspora and being an immigrant is normal. Not just normal,<br />

but you can thrive in it. New York is a city of immigrants that have<br />

been there for multiple generations and are proud of that. And the<br />

richness of the city is because of that.<br />

How is your music received in the US, especially your live<br />

shows?<br />

It’s really interesting in America because I believe that the world<br />

music scene only lives on the coasts, the East Coast and the West<br />

Coast. It’s really difficult to do non-western music in the middle<br />

of the US. There was a reason Trump was elected: America is a<br />

conservative place! The coasts have always been incredibly diverse<br />

places because that’s the nature of ports.<br />

The term ‘world music’ is problematic, don’t you think? The way it<br />

lumps together all genres and musical styles, from contemporary<br />

pop to traditional, under one single, non-descript banner.<br />

It’s hugely problematic. It’s important to question it, to say it out<br />

loud so that we start to shift it. At its core, it’s inherently racist. It is<br />

based on exotification. It assumes there is normal music and that<br />

‘the other’ is, world music. And it’s bizarrely inaccurate! Everything<br />

in the world is world music, unless Western musicians aren’t<br />

making world music and they are aliens from outer space and no<br />

one told us.<br />

What can we expect from your show in Liverpool at the Arabic<br />

Arts Festival?<br />

You can expect some storytelling on stage, you can expect to have<br />

a good old time, you can expect to dance, you can expect to learn<br />

a thing or two and not even notice that you’re learning. We’re<br />

making learning fun again! !<br />

Words: Cath Bore / @cathbore<br />

alsarah.com<br />

Alsarah & The Nubatones play Sefton Park Palm House on 16th<br />

<strong>July</strong> as part of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival. Manara is out now on<br />

Wonderwheel Recordings.<br />


Brian Wilson<br />

GIG<br />

Brian Wilson<br />

Exhibition Centre – 28/07<br />

There are few artists who can legitimately be spoken of in<br />

the same breath as giants like Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry and<br />

those lads from South Liverpool who everyone seems to like,<br />

but BRIAN WILSON doubtless has a place in such company.<br />

The Beach Boys founder member and driving force created some of<br />

the most mesmerising harmonies, pop hooks and timeless songs ever<br />

produced.<br />

His legacy will live on long after you and I have departed this mortal<br />

coil. It is with great anticipation, then, that Liverpool welcomes the Godlike<br />

Genius back this month. Wilson stops off at the Exhibition Centre to<br />

perform the seminal album Pet Sounds in full for one of the final times – if<br />

any gig deserves the adjective ‘unmissable’, it’s this one. “Well, yes, it’s<br />

sad. I’m very sentimental about that album. It’s so, so special,” Wilson<br />

told Bido Lito! ahead of his visit, about the prospect of finally drawing the<br />

curtain on this celebratory album tour after two years of emotional shows.<br />

The 75 year-old picked out the luscious God Only Knows as the track<br />

which is “for sure” the one he enjoys playing the most. As well as this,<br />

gig-goers can expect bone fide classics such as Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Sloop<br />

John B and the spine-tingling Good Vibrations, played by “a killer band<br />

[which includes Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine], beautiful harmonies<br />

and a great show”, according to the ever-modest Wilson.<br />

“It’s one of the top five best albums ever made,” Wilson tells us, and<br />

it’s hard to argue. Pet Sounds has topped Best Albums Of All Time from<br />

the likes of NME, The Times and Mojo. Wilson’s restless studio work<br />

gave birth to many original techniques and cemented his reputation as a<br />

production innovator as well as gifted songwriter.<br />

Much has been made of the legend’s health issues, both mental and<br />

physical, but the leader’s statement that “music expresses my feeling and<br />

it makes people happy” feels true to The Beach Boys’ aesthetic – sounds<br />

which capture eternal youth, hopefulness and fun summer shenanigans.<br />

The show is part of the city’s 50 Summers Of Love programme and is set<br />

to be one that everyone there will cherish forever.<br />

Indika<br />


Indika<br />

Capstone Theatre –<br />

21/07-28/07<br />

Liverpool’s burgeoning relationship with Indian music is no mere<br />

fad, as anyone who has been attending Milapfest’s stunning<br />

events for the past decade will attest to. Over the past seven<br />

years, the Indian Arts Development Trust have focused<br />

their efforts on INDIKA, a festival on Indian arts unlike any other.<br />

By bringing together a programme of innovative artists who create<br />

entirely new concepts of collaboration in music and dance, Indika has<br />

established itself as one of the leading festivals of its kind in Europe.<br />

The nine-day long tumultuous celebration, located at the Capstone<br />

Theatre, brings a range of fantastic art to new audiences each summer.<br />

Start your day with one of the Morning Raga sessions, and relax late<br />

into the night as evening showcases bring together delightful concerts<br />

of classic Indian music and dance. You can even immerse yourself in the<br />

culture that underpins it by ducking in at the inspirational lecture series<br />

on diverse subjects. If you want to delve further, Indika are offering two<br />

residential summer schools of music and dance with international tutors.<br />

Kicking off on Friday 21st <strong>July</strong> with a very special performance by the<br />

stylish British-based ensemble TARANG, the festival will also feature big<br />

names such as Carnatic vocal superstar ABHISHEK RAGHURAM, and<br />

Santoor legend PANDIT TARUN BHATTACHARYA. On 26th <strong>July</strong>, awardwinning<br />

composer, musician and producer Shri Sriram leads TRIKONA<br />

in one of the evening concerts. A dynamic new musical experience who<br />

combine Indian classical music with jazz, Trikona are a virtuosic new blend<br />

of melody, rhythm and energy inspired by the concepts and patterns that<br />

are familiar to both Indian classical music and jazz, liberally sprinkled with<br />

improvisation by a band of internationally-renowned musicians.<br />

Alongside the exhilarating music line-up, Indika will also present<br />

a series of visually stunning performances from the biggest names<br />

in Indian classical dance. Showcasing the beautiful yet diverse styles<br />

of Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi, established artists RAMA<br />


the same stage as the spectacular UK-based dance group ODISSI<br />


Whether you’re an Indian music or dance aficionado or just eager<br />

to experience new art forms, Indika is a multi-arts festival packed full of<br />

exciting events that promise to light up your summer with some Indian<br />

flair.<br />



GIG<br />

The Gories<br />

The Magnet – 13/07<br />

MC Farhood (Michelle Roberts) The Gories<br />

Primal Detroit punk heroes THE GORIES may have not<br />

have sold many records, but their impact on garage music<br />

is akin to that of The Velvet Underground on alternative<br />

rock, or The Cramps on US punk. Their unhinged, freespirited<br />

ethos has inspired thousands of bands to follow<br />

in their footsteps, and they are held in high esteem by a<br />

large number of Liverpool artists. Jack White, whose Third<br />

Man label they are now signed to, once described them as<br />

“The best garage band in America since the 60s.” West<br />

Derby’s own answer to The Gories, OHMNS, appear on a<br />

perfectly-aligned undercard.<br />


Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender And Identity<br />

Walker Art Gallery – from 28/07<br />

Liverpool celebrates 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of male<br />

homosexual acts this month with events planned across the city. The Walker<br />

Art Gallery are contributing to the occasion with an exhibition which aims to<br />

highlight the importance of queer British art in movements throughout art<br />

history. Coming Out will feature some big names such as Steve McQueen<br />

and Anya Gallaccio as well as newer artists who are making waves with<br />

interesting, thought-provoking works. An equally interesting programme events<br />

is also lined up to run alongside the exhibition. For more information head to<br />

liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker.<br />

Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender And Identity<br />

GIG<br />

The Roughneck Riot<br />

Maguire’s Pizza Bar – 07/07<br />

Antipop are teaming up with their Manchester soulmates<br />

Anarchistic Undertones for a wild old night down at<br />

Maguire’s, where a stinging slew of punk will be dripping<br />

out of the speakers. THE ROUGNECK RIOT usually<br />

steamroll anything in their way, so don’t expect much in the<br />

way of restraint from the headliners: the Warrington-based<br />

six-piece combine punk with, confusingly, folk and hardcore<br />

strains, spinning a winning formula out of it. French poppunks<br />

BARE TEETH and homegrown street punks DOWN<br />

AND OUTS also feature, so you just know it’s going to be<br />

a riot.<br />

GIG<br />

House For The Homeless<br />

District – 15/07<br />

<strong>2017</strong> marks 50 years since the founding of Crisis, the national<br />

charity dedicated to helping the lives of homeless people.<br />

Electronic music webzine The Waveform Transmitter are doing<br />

their bit to mark the occasion by hosting a 10-hour marathon of<br />

live music as District, as well as releasing a compilation record<br />

featuring a host of prominent artists from the global dance<br />

community. Danny Howells of Dig Deeper, Daniel Steinberg and<br />

Kristin Velvet (both of Arms And Legs Records), and Circus’ own<br />

Yousef have all contributed to the record, the proceeds of which<br />

will be donated to Crisis. A limited number of physical releases<br />

will be on sale at the show.<br />


Brazilica<br />

Various Venues – 14/06-16/07<br />

Bixiga 70<br />

There’s nothing quite like the carnival feeling of BRAZILICA’s sensory overload. Liverpool’s international<br />

samba festival is a pulsating celebration of Latin American culture, with colourful parades taking over<br />

the streets around the Pier Head and Williamson Square. The extensive music line-up – part of the<br />

Pier Head Village – boasts 10-piece São Paulo collective BIXIGA 70 and bossa nova saxophonist and<br />

songwriter SAM QURESHI among its performers, while the Brazilian Film Festival returns for the third<br />

time. The undoubted high point, however, is the night-time Carnival Parade, which works its way down<br />

from Abercromby Square, turning the streets into a riot of colour and sound.<br />


Noye’s Fludde<br />

Metropolitan Cathedral – 13/07<br />


Liverpool Arab Arts Festival<br />

Various Venues – 08/07-16/07<br />

Written in 1959 for a combination of professional, amateur, and young musicians,<br />

NOYE’S FLUDDE (based on the Chester ‘mystery’ play) is a one-act opera set to<br />

music by Benjamin Britten. It tells the story of Noah and the flood with dazzling<br />

music and a lot of drama, and is being staged as part of the Metropolitan<br />

Cathedral’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. A cast of hundreds will take part in<br />

the grand staging of the opera, including the Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm<br />

McMahon, as the voice of God. Britten wrote the piece with the specific instruction<br />

that it be performed in churches rather than theatres, reckoning that the religious<br />

juxtaposition was more befitting its needs than that the dramatic. See for yourself.<br />

The diversity of backgrounds represented in the city’s cultural goings on<br />

continues to astound, with LIVERPOOL ARAB ARTS FESTIVAL returning<br />

for its annual series of events that hails the richness of Arab culture. The<br />

packed 10-day programme takes in visual art, dance, literature and some<br />

stunning music, all while sticking to LAAF’s ethos of inclusivity. The festival<br />

harnesses that curious ability art has to allow one person, with one set of<br />

life experiences, to speak directly to the heart of another. Turn to page 46<br />

now to read a fascinating Final Say column from the festival’s chair, Taher<br />

Qassim MBE, that picks out some themes from this year’s festival.<br />



British Style Collective<br />

Various Venues – 07/07-09/07<br />

British Style Collective<br />

The Clothes Show is coming to Liverpool! The longstanding fashion<br />

showcase lands its new iteration, the BRITISH STYLE COLLECTIVE, in town<br />

for a city-wide collection of events crammed in to three days. Some of the<br />

most sought-after names in UK fashion will be descending on the city for the<br />

event, with catwalks and unrivalled shopping experiences taking place from<br />

Camp and Furnace to the Echo Arena. WAYNE HEMINGWAY’s fringe event –<br />

Fine Tuned – will take over the waterfront, while an invitation-only designer<br />

presentation drops by at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. Liverpool’s own<br />

stylish should get themselves ready, as one lucky amateur will be plucked<br />

from relative obscurity to be signed up to one of the country’s biggest<br />

modelling agencies.<br />

DINING + GIG<br />

The Kazimier Summer Gala<br />

Invisible Wind Factory – 13/07<br />

Ever at the forefront of cultural innovation, the Kazimier bods have dreams of<br />

creating an indoor utopian culture village around their new home at Invisible<br />

Wind Factory. And they need our support. In order to show us their grand<br />

designs, and to raise some funds to make it all happen, the collective are hosting<br />

a special gala evening of banqueting and entertainment, shaped by their vision<br />

for Invisible Wind Factory’s future. Aiming to develop the complex, so that it will<br />

grow into a permanent visitor attraction for the North Docks, there are also plans<br />

to expand it into a platform for creative collaborators and a hub for the artistic<br />

community of Liverpool. The event marks the launch of a month-long crowd<br />

funding campaign, with the night containing an auction, behind-the-scenes<br />

tours and live music.<br />

GIG<br />

Whitechapel Centre Fundraiser<br />

24 Kitchen Street – 07/07<br />

The lush, anthemic strains of poppy rockers COLOUR head<br />

Liverpool Noise’s latest fundraising gig, put together in support<br />

of the Whitechapel Centre. It’s not the first time they’ve<br />

concentrated their efforts on raising funds for Liverpool’s leading<br />

housing and homeless charity at a live show, and they’ve got it<br />

down to a tee. Accompanying Colour at the show are glossy RnB<br />

duo DELIAH and grungey alt. rock thrillers SALT THE SNAIL.<br />

Fresh from appearances at The Great Escape and Dot To Dot,<br />

WEEKEND WARS also appear on the stellar bill. Donations of<br />

clothes and other items will be accepted as entry: a full list of<br />

suitable items can be found at whitechapelcentre.co.uk.<br />

GIG<br />

Gary Numan<br />

Liverpool Convention Centre – 27/07<br />

Gary Numan<br />

The godfather of British synth pop headlines a huge show at the<br />

Convention Centre in continuation of the Pioneers Of British Electronic<br />

Music series that saw The Human League, Art Of Noise and A Certain<br />

Ratio come to Liverpool Sound City in May. GARY NUMAN’s pedigree<br />

in electronic music, as part of Tubeway Army and as a solo artist, is<br />

unrivalled: he helped unleash a new wave of synthesiser-enamoured<br />

musicians on the UK’s music scene in the 1970s, and he’s still tearing up<br />

the rulebook today. Post-punk juggernauts GANG OF FOUR appear on<br />

the undercard of this extremely popular event.<br />

GIG<br />

Howl At The Moon Volume 17<br />

Drop The Dumbulls – 29/07<br />

All good things must come to an end: such is the case for promotions collective Howl At The Moon,<br />

who’s swansong show sees them signing off in style. Deafening guitar noise is going to be thrown at<br />

you by OHMNS, MINCEMEAT and BAD MEDS, as well as anti-folk from JD MEATYARD, leftfield electro<br />

noisescapes from Manchester’s BAD BODY and a one-off performance from grunge pioneers/also-rans LAZY<br />

MARY, playing their first gig in 22 years. Since HATM’s first gig at MelloMello in 2012, they have played host<br />

to Jeffrey Lewis, Gallon Drunk, Thomas Truax and scores more. They will be sadly missed. Fortunately, HATM’s<br />

Hot Sauce will still be available.<br />

Ohmns<br />

GIG<br />

Bido Lito! Social<br />

The Shipping Forecast – 20/07<br />

The Fernweh<br />

There’s nothing us folk at Bido HQ like more than to see the artists we<br />

eulogise about doing what they do best in the live arena. It is with a large<br />

amount of joy that we put together our monthly Bido Lito! Socials, and <strong>July</strong>’s<br />

event is one we’re particularly proud of. Byrdsian folksters THE FERNWEH<br />

rev themselves up for the release of their gorgeous debut album by<br />

headlining at The Ship, joined by our favourite new act HANNAH’S LITTLE<br />

SISTER, and the lo-fi, Gorky’s-indebted charm of GINTIS. Tickets are £4 in<br />

advance, or free if you’re a Bido Lito! member. Sign up now at bidolito.co.uk,<br />

and make sure you don’t miss another event.<br />


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build new contacts that can grow your business.<br />

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Future Bubblers<br />

is digging for the<br />

most<br />



OUTSIDE-<br />

AND<br />

Dr Chris McElroy Conductor<br />

Stuart M O'Hara Noye<br />

Stephanie Guidera Mrs Noye<br />

The Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Voice of God<br />

Plus a cast of hundreds of young musicians and singers<br />

from across the North West of England<br />

<br />

Tickets: £7.50<br />

Available at the Cathedral gift shop / liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk<br />

THE-BOX<br />

music hidden across<br />

the country<br />

Applications Open Monday 3rd <strong>July</strong><br />

Close Friday 18th <strong>July</strong><br />

Find out how to apply and follow the journey<br />

— futurebubblers.com<br />

Future Bubblers is Gilles Peterson and Brownswood Music’s<br />

big new talent discovery and development idea in partnership<br />

with Arts Council England


Illumaphonium (Glyn Akroyd / @GlynAkroyd)<br />

Metropolitan Cathedral (Glyn Akroyd / @GlynAkroyd)<br />

LightNight<br />

Various venues - 19/05<br />

Another LIGHTNIGHT, another stout pair of walking shoes, as we<br />

prepare to traverse the city to gorge upon its many cultural treats.<br />

This year the theme is Time, and over the course of the evening<br />

we find ourselves travelling from Ancient Egypt to a 21st Century<br />

Babylon via a Renaissance soundscape.<br />

Fittingly located on the outer reaches of the festival’s orbit in<br />

the University of Liverpool’s Garstang Museum, is the Egyptology<br />

Department’s exhibition THE BOOK OF THE DEAD. Containing<br />

many artefacts that are not on display in the University’s regular<br />

exhibition, the Egyptology Department have taken the opportunity<br />

to give us a fascinating peek into the belief system that underpinned<br />

the death rituals of the Ancient Egyptians. The promo promises<br />

“artefacts and artistic photographs of ancient papyri” and, interesting<br />

as the photographs are, it is the tangible objects that really capture<br />

the imagination; the death masks, coffin boards, statuettes and<br />

hieroglyph-inscribed papyrus. The latter are engagingly decoded<br />

by Senior Lecturer Dr Roland Enmarch; a depiction of the journey<br />

of the Sun God into the Underworld, delineated by the broad arc of<br />

the horizon, illustrates the cycle of death and rebirth and is neatly<br />

linked to the 20th Century Christian hymn Morning Has Broken. A<br />

fascinating start to the evening.<br />

A brisk walk down Oxford Street and into the Metropolitan<br />

Cathedral and I’m just in time for a performance of ANDY<br />

MCKEOWN’s Rotation Eighteen269 – one of this year’s LightNight<br />

commissions (the title refers to the number of days since the<br />

Cathedral’s opening). Featuring a mixture of Renaissance music and<br />

contemporary light projections, McKeown has hung the Cathedral’s<br />

central sanctuary with shard-like strips of fabric, onto and between<br />

which are projected images of stained glass and writing from the<br />

Cathedral archives. The light which shines between the fabric<br />

hangings falls onto the rich scarlet robes of the Cathedral choir, who<br />

are performing Thomas Tallis’ 16th-century work, Lamentations. The<br />

beautiful, mystical, timeless quality of the music contrasts with the<br />

kaleidoscopic swirl of light and floats gently out across the wide-open<br />

expanse of the Met. The evening sun lights the stained glass of the<br />

overhead lantern and the audience bursts into sustained applause on<br />

completion of the piece. There follows an organ recital, MATTHEW<br />

SEARLE playing the music of Messiaen and Part, a lovely chiming<br />

“From families to<br />

regular Friday night<br />

revellers, the event<br />

has captured the<br />

imagination yet again”<br />

introduction in keeping with the evening’s theme, while a constant<br />

flow of people walk around the Cathedral’s perimeter, almost all of<br />

them walking anti-clockwise in a subconscious re-winding of time.<br />

Out in the evening sunshine, the vintage LightNight doubledecker<br />

bus flies across the junction into the academic quarter,<br />

providing a fleetingly Hogwartian moment. Hope Street is jammed,<br />

the crowds are thicker than ever. After a quick stop in the buzzing<br />

watering hole of The Grapes, it’s on to the plateau of the Anglican<br />

Cathedral as dusk falls, and an encounter with the wonderful<br />

‘Illumaphonium’. Illuminated dumbbells are strung in columns from<br />

two ‘A’ frames and people, young and old, are striking them at<br />

random, some leaping in the air to, literally, hit the high notes. The<br />

random notes are cleverly manipulated into chiming melody via the<br />

laptops of the Illumaphonium’s creators.<br />

Finally, we’re into the bedlam of the Anglican Cathedral, which,<br />

despite having embraced a pretty alternative programme over the<br />

last few years has perhaps never witnessed a night like this. The<br />

choir area before the altar is jammed with dancing, whirling figures,<br />

at the centre of which is puppet-master and DJ GREG WILSON,<br />

pulling the strings on the decks with his usual eclectic ear. The<br />

lights fly across the vast space affording brief glimpses of statuary<br />

and paintings, and the dry ice provides a secular incense as it floats<br />

heavenwards. Wilson’s pounding dance set brings a whole new<br />

meaning to the phrase “God is in the house!”<br />

The chatter outside as people make their way home, or off to the<br />

after party at Constellations, is all about LightNight. From families to<br />

regular Friday night revellers, the event has captured the imagination<br />

yet again. And, still, the activities are far from over: we’ll see your after<br />

party, and raise you a sleepover in a secluded corner of the Anglican<br />

Cathedral, as the aftermath of Greg Wilson’s set dies down.<br />

Part of THE HANDLESS PROJECT – named after the Handless<br />

Maiden fairytale, to which the project’s lead artist Aleasha Chaunté<br />

has responded – this journey invites we of this way cooler option to<br />

immerse ourselves in the mystery of the space, investing our sleep<br />

and impending walk with, as suggested, whatever it means to us.<br />

Stowed away in this grand old place, we’re issued with floor berths,<br />

blankets and a sense of gravitas; it’s lights out around 11. Tossing<br />

and turning as If You Leave Me Now by rocktrocities Chicago plays<br />

on loop reminded me of music played to detainees… wait: a tripletake<br />

at the clock reveals it’s 4am and that really is Chicago, and we’re<br />

now so psyched for a bracing walk.<br />

Accordingly, around the time LightNight after party-goers must<br />

be brawling over taxis, we’re arcing around our leaders as they<br />

sing up the sun, then marching by candlelight through a graveyard.<br />

You’ll never know it, after party-goers, but we win. We’re musical<br />

statues to further chanting; we’re down with the larks; we sup from<br />

a well. Our passage is voluntary yet predetermined, in full view yet<br />

in code – as per a wedding or funeral, such that you want to submit,<br />

stay within its structures and listen keenly. On we go in procession,<br />

copping a volley of abuse from one household (not Scouse, let<br />

the record state), and this, too, defines (particularly for Bido Lito!’s<br />

intrepid atheists) what ritual looks like and what respect for it does<br />

and doesn’t feel like.<br />

Just after 6am, we’re in for breakfast at the soon-to-open Toxteth<br />

Food Central, and the pattern for this 36-hour piece is established:<br />

a day of walks, to Calderstones Park, Everton Brow and Love Lane,<br />

honouring personal landmarks pinned and sewn onto a cloth map<br />

of Liverpool at community workshops beforehand, at which people<br />

told and located their stories. And it’s now glaringly light, and we see<br />

clearly enough that we are safe in the benign grip of ceremony. Our<br />

walking companions will come and they will go – ‘from’ and ‘to’ pins<br />

on mindmaps of private worlds and strange, structured days.<br />

There’s no question that LightNight reaches out to a broad<br />

and varied audience, with thousands pounding the streets to take<br />

in all that it has to offer. It’s hard to think of May without it now, so<br />

accustomed are we to experiencing the city’s multitude stunning<br />

buildings in new and illuminating ways. Long live the night. !<br />

Glyn Akroyd / @GlynAkroyd<br />

Tom Bell / @writerTomBell<br />


“For Sound City<br />

to reignite its<br />

flame... it must be<br />

embedded back<br />

within the bosom<br />

of the city itself”<br />

Sound City<br />

Clarence Dock 25/05-28/05<br />

The excitable atmosphere from JOHN CALE’s historic<br />

performance on the previous evening still lingers in the dusty<br />

air around Clarence Dock, as we prepare for the tenth edition of<br />

SOUND CITY. One of Saturday’s first points of call is John Cale<br />

in Conversation, where he discusses the history of The Velvet<br />

Underground, and sheds light on why he decided to retread<br />

those iconic songs.<br />

After solidifying a prime spot at The Baltic Stage for<br />

PEACHES, we observe the Canadian artist waste no time in<br />

getting involved with the crowd, climbing on the barrier, scowling<br />

and shoving her boot into people’s faces. She makes her way<br />

back into the crowd during her performance of Dick In The Air,<br />

this time via the vessel of a giant inflatable condom. It’s clear<br />

that she’s done this before as she effortlessly crawls to the tip of<br />

the prophylactic, sending the crowd into a frenzy, as everyone<br />

bustles to get a touch of her through the plastic. Suddenly it’s<br />

all over in a dizzying haze of flesh, and everybody heads out to<br />

catch what remains of the evening.<br />

“I didn’t know Liverpool had a desert,” quips METRONOMY’s<br />

Joe Mount over on the Atlantic Stage. The wind has whipped up<br />

swirls of dust so robustly during Metronomy’s set that it looks<br />

vaguely apocalyptic, almost like it was planned as part of the<br />

visual theatre. Metronomy’s power is their extreme feel goodness<br />

and danceability; electronic music deftly avoiding the chill,<br />

it has a real warmth to it. Olugbenga Adelekan’s pounding bass<br />

and Mount’s cheesy asides bordering on Eurotrash banter keep<br />

the party going, despite an audience criminally smaller than they<br />

deserved.<br />

Where the bleak, post-industrial expanse of Clarence Dock<br />

suits the likes of SLAVES, LOCAL NATIVES feel somehow out<br />

of place on The Atlantic Stage, as if they should be playing on<br />

a beach, with their shimmery guitars and soulful melodies. But<br />

they soon get into their stride, providing the crowd with a surge<br />

of excitement during the performance of Villainy off their 2016<br />

album Sunlit Youth, as Taylor Rice (Vocals, Guitar) dives into the<br />

crowd to finish off the song.<br />

It’s standing room only for THE CRIBS, with almost as<br />

many viewing from outside The Baltic Stage tent as inside.<br />

Their audience are a lusty crowd, ready to burst into song at<br />

any moment, but the minute’s silence for the victims of the<br />

Manchester Arena bombing is observed impeccably – as it across<br />

the festival all weekend – with all inside joining in a rendition of<br />

Don’t Look Back In Anger. It’s not long before the crowd are off<br />

again: The Cribs are in fine, sweaty form tonight, proper rock ‘n’<br />

roll boys up to no good, Men’s Needs doing the business, with<br />

vocalist Ryan Jarman strutting about. He’s a lively one, alright.<br />

THE KOOKS are a surprisingly jolly and fitting end to<br />

proceedings. Bad Habit is made for events like this, as is<br />

the chorus of She Moves In Her Own Way, prompting mass<br />

reminiscence from those assembled. Both The Cribs and The<br />

Kooks are bands who many of those present went to see<br />

when they first started going to gigs, and, although it’s a bit<br />

disappointing to see nostalgia coming from the mouths of a<br />

crowd in their mid-20s, The Kooks play their role well. They look<br />

like pop stars, deliver the songs, but do nothing whatsoever to<br />

frighten the horses. Ultimately, The Kooks are a very apt way to<br />

close the festival.<br />

Cath Bore / @cathbore<br />

Michael Sutton / @michaelonmusic<br />

Bido Lito! Comment<br />

Over the years, Bido Lito! and Sound City have shared<br />

a deep commitment to supporting new music in our<br />

city. Sound City’s growth and development over the<br />

past decade has coincided with the seven years of Bido<br />

Lito!’s presence in the city. We’ve often referred to each<br />

other as brothers and sisters in arms, working closely<br />

on a variety of projects in partnership. The Sound City<br />

weekend in May each year has always been a firm<br />

focus and peak of activity in the Bido Lito! calendar. As<br />

partners and advocates of Sound City, this year’s festival<br />

left us with an overriding sense of sadness, lamenting<br />

what the event has become.<br />

After three years out of the city centre – two of<br />

those at Bramley Moore Dock before this year’s shift to<br />

Clarence Dock – it is clear that, from a creative, musical,<br />

curatorial and experiential perspective, the move has not<br />

been a success. There was a kinetic, feverish energy to<br />

the festival when it was based in the city; a rapid-paced<br />

three days of traversing the back rooms, nooks and<br />

armpits of Liverpool in search of the most fabulous new<br />

music that anyone vaguely interested in music in the city<br />

just had to be a part of. That energy has gone.<br />

It is true that festivals, like cities, develop and shift.<br />

The issues around capacity in Wolstenholme Square<br />

that tarnished 2014’s event – leaving long queues of<br />

fans unable to get in – are problems we don’t want to<br />

see a return to. But, for a festival to be about a city – and<br />

Sound City has always placed the allure and magic of<br />

Liverpool at the centre of its narrative – it must be held<br />

within the city. True, Liverpool’s history is wedded to<br />

the sea; but, presenting a grim, overly-commercialised,<br />

abandoned dust bowl dockside site as being ‘of<br />

Liverpool’ is stretching things too far, touching on the<br />

disingenuous.<br />

As the city changes and shifts, so the spaces and<br />

arenas avaiable to utilise shift also. This presents huge<br />

challenges around licensing, logistics and practical<br />

delivery which we know the team at Sound City are only<br />

too aware of. We appreciate it was these challenges<br />

that helped lead to the decision to move site in the first<br />

place. But, it is the creative solutions to these challenges<br />

that ultimately shape what the essence of the festival is.<br />

The shifting collection of car parks, building sites, empty<br />

units and disused warehouses, alongside the city’s best<br />

venues, make for a completely unique site, one in tune<br />

with the dialogue of the city. It is as important as the<br />

bands embedded within them.<br />

For Sound City to reignite its flame – and, let’s<br />

remember, there was a point when the festival genuinely<br />

represented the annual focal point for music in the city –<br />

it must be embedded back within the bosom of the city<br />

itself. When we look at leading city-based new music<br />

festivals such as SXSW (Austin), Reeperbahn (Hamburg)<br />

and Le Guess Who? (Utrecht), their cities are their<br />

canvas. With Liverpool at the heart of its vision, Sound<br />

City can reestablish itself at the same level.<br />

Sound City has always aspired to be a world-class<br />

celebration of new music discovery. In order to achieve<br />

this, it needs to re-engrain itself back within the heart of<br />

Liverpool.<br />

The Kooks (Stuart Moulding / @oohshootstu)<br />


Kraftwerk 3-D (Keith Ainsworth / arkimages.co.uk)<br />

Kraftwerk 3-D<br />

Philharmonic Hall – 11/06<br />

Expectations are high for the first visit of electronic godfathers<br />

KRAFTWERK to Liverpool since 1991. The foundations this<br />

band created in the 70s formed the basis for 80s synthpop, the<br />

loops for early hip hop and inspired much of 90s dance. The<br />

Philharmonic Hall is sold out and people are milling about in a<br />

state of giddy excitement, sporting the 3-D glasses we’ve all<br />

been issued with. What have the robotic innovators got in store<br />

for us this evening?<br />

Taking to the stage to the track Numbers, the four members<br />

arrange themselves in a row behind lectern-like keyboard stands.<br />

Each is wearing a funky luminous body suit that makes them look<br />

like they’ve stepped out of the movie Tron. The graphics on the<br />

screen behind them are the numbers one to nine. When these<br />

numbers in turn jump out of the screen in the first full use of the<br />

3-D effect, those around me let out an audible gasp.<br />

Spacelab starts with the band piloting their ‘kraft’ through<br />

space. The best 3-D flourish of the night sees the spaceship flying<br />

out of the screen with the antenna almost tickling our noses. Soon<br />

we are above the UK with a big Google marker above Liverpool<br />

(which gets a cheer). Next, we see their spaceship hovering<br />

over the Liverpool waterfront and, finally, it lands in Hope Street<br />

outside the Phil’s front door.<br />

The classic tracks keep coming, with The Model followed<br />

by Neon Lights. But it’s the beginning of Autobahn that really<br />

makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It’s such a<br />

Positive Vibration<br />

Baltic Triangle – 09/06-10/06<br />

Returning to Liverpool with a jam-packed line-up and familyfriendly<br />

workshops, POSITIVE VIBRATION transforms a corner of<br />

Baltic Triangle into the city’s very own little piece of Jamaica. Taking<br />

over Constellations, Hangar 34 and District, Greenland Street and<br />

its surroundings are alive with the music and art of Jamaica’s rich<br />

heritage.<br />

It’s a full-on riot as soon as you enter the festival: the Jamdown<br />

Market offers food, festival merch, records, trinkets, and henna<br />

tattoos for those festival goers who aren’t sufficiently kitted out<br />

and ready for a celebration of all things Jamaica (and there aren’t<br />

many of those). A colourful wooden structure of signposts sits<br />

at the festival’s centre, pointing us to each location: go left for<br />

Hangar 34, or carry on for 3,848 miles and you’ll hit Addis Ababa,<br />

Ethiopia’s capital.<br />

To the right, Constellations houses The Art of Reggae<br />

Exhibition that presents 100 reggae-inspired posters, designed<br />

by illustrators and artists from all over the world. Each poster is a<br />

unique response to the genre’s heritage and there are a variety of<br />

styles and approaches, but all point to the power and hope that<br />

reggae inspires.<br />

Outside in the Garden, with colourful flags overhead and<br />

giant flower lights, NO FAKIN’ and DJ ANDY SMITH fire up the<br />

adult-only Friday. Keeping it soulful, No Fakin’ deliver smooth<br />

tracks perfect for the summer evening, before Andy Smith follows<br />

with an impressive collection of classic reggae and calypso tracks.<br />

beautiful song; not a note is wasted, every melody in the sparse<br />

arrangement is perfect in its role. The music takes us across the<br />

countryside first in a Volkswagen then a vintage Mercedes, as the<br />

visual spectacular follows suit on the screens and in the twinkling<br />

LED sparkles on the band members’ suits. The set moves on with<br />

selections from the Tour De France Soundtracks LP and concludes<br />

this section with Trans Europe Express, Metal On Metal and<br />

Abzug. Founder member Ralf Hütter (on the far left) delivers his<br />

elegiac love letter to train travel: ‘From station to station / Back to<br />

Dusseldorf City / Meet Iggy Pop and David Bowie’.<br />

There is a small timing hiccup in the music during Radioactivity.<br />

But this goes to show the music and images are being generated<br />

live rather than coming from tapes. Hütter gets a laugh at the end by<br />

quipping, “This was a failure of electricity”.<br />

The first encore begins with the song The Robots. The curtains<br />

part to reveal four red shirted robots on stage. Let me be clear here:<br />

these are animatronic robots on stage, not Kraftwerk themselves. The<br />

robots move in unison and the huge 3-D arm of an on-screen robot<br />

sweeps over the stalls. The song ends and the robots get one of the<br />

biggest rounds of applause of the night.<br />

The curtain closes again and the human forms of Kraftwerk<br />

return. They perform a couple of less familiar numbers, but then<br />

close in fine form with a trio of tracks from the album Electric Cafe.<br />

Boing Boom Tschak is spelt out in sync on the screen. Musical<br />

notes then tumble across it in 3-D followed by huge, wire-framed<br />

robot heads. One by one the band members leave the stage with<br />

only Hütter remaining to take a final bow to huge applause, with<br />

none of us any the wiser about where the boundary between man<br />

and machine truly ends.<br />

Keith Ainsworth / @MusicPhotoKeith<br />

Taking us right through to midnight, he keeps his crowd on their<br />

feet with a typically thumping set.<br />

Inside Constellations, Leicester-based reggae collective<br />

VIBRONICS draw in passers-by with their uplifting dub set.<br />

Singing live lyrics, dancing to their mixes, and with a drummer<br />

onstage who perfectly offsets the beats, their energy and rhythm<br />

is infectious. Across the way, Hangar 34 is decorated in a variety<br />

of flags and is filled with the emotive vocals of ABA SHANTI-I.<br />

His roots reggae set offers slow tempos and a thick, heavy bass.<br />

Finishing off the night with JAH SHAKA in District leaves me eager<br />

for more. He plays us a collection of tracks that encapsulates the<br />

roots of reggae in its finest form.<br />

After a day of arts, crafts and workshops, the grey clouds shift<br />

for the sun to join us at the festival’s close. An incredible and even<br />

bigger selection of musical talent comes together for a second<br />

helping of Positive Vibration. Every way I turn, I’m met with rich<br />

and lively appreciations of reggae in varying styles and creative<br />

portrayals. Highlights include SCIENTIST’s intricate and electronic<br />

dub, a passionate performance from BACKBEAT SOUNDSYSTEM,<br />

and DON LETTS’ rocksteady rhythms. THE SELECTER have the<br />

audience swaying to their pounding beats, with Pauline Black<br />

sending the crowd in Hangar 34 into an ecstatic groove with On<br />

My Radio, Too Much Pressure, and 3 Minute Hero.<br />

What with cocktail bars, exotic food trucks, Jamaican art,<br />

and an array of international musical talent, the festival is a truly<br />

transporting experience that welcomes diversity. In celebrating<br />

such an inclusive and elevating culture, Positive Vibration proves<br />

that, no matter what the political climate, these carefree and<br />

uplifting creative spaces will continue to thrive.<br />

Jessica Greenall<br />

Within You, Without You:<br />

Beatles Ragafest<br />

Milapfest and Sgt. Pepper At 50<br />

@ St. George’s Hall - 11/06<br />

Today’s activities, spread across St. George’s Hall’s main room and<br />

smaller Concert Room, aim to rekindle and showcase the amazing<br />

creative and spiritual connection between The Beatles and India. That<br />

particular local connection can be broadened out into a more general<br />

exploration of the centuries-old cultural trade winds that blow between<br />

East and West. The main hall hosts food and craft stalls and dance<br />

performances while the Concert Room is the opulent setting for four<br />

ragas; morning, afternoon, evening and night. As usual with Milapfest<br />

productions, the quality of the artists on offer is unquestionable;<br />


SRINIVASAN headline, but are supported by a wealth of superb<br />

musicians from across the globe.<br />

We pick up proceedings at the afternoon raga, violinist and<br />

composer Jyotsna Srikanth being joined on stage initially by drummer<br />

Manjunath NS, and pianist Shadrach Solomon. The concert begins with<br />

Srikanth flying through an improvised Carnatic raga accompanied by<br />

percussion and morsing (similar to the Jew’s harp), a gypsy fire to her<br />

playing. Slowing things down, the percussion is as gentle as raindrops<br />

pattering on a lotus leaf, the morsing adding twangy, vibrant flourishes.<br />

Manjunath takes to the drums and adds a western jazzy-funk to<br />

proceedings, including a storming drum solo that Ginger Baker would<br />

be proud of.<br />

After the interval, Srikanth is joined by Sweden’s Kristallkvartetten<br />

string quartet for a performance of Srikanth’s Seasons, an evocation<br />

of the six Indian seasons, the familiar Western ones being augmented<br />

by Monsoon and Snow. More raindrops, this time a beautiful viola<br />

pizzicato, begin the Monsoon movement and Snow seems to be<br />

a season of joy, of playfulness (perhaps a release from the heat of<br />

Summer), little piano flurries enlivening an already delightful piece<br />

before a dashing finale. The familiar refrain of “Within you, without you”<br />

introduces titular tribute to the 60s East/West voyage and to George<br />

Harrison in particular, exquisitely played and rapturously received.<br />

A packed Concert Room awaits the arrival of V.M. Bhatt, best<br />

known in Western circles for his Meeting By The River collaboration<br />

with Ry Cooder, and here joined by his son, Salil Bhatt, and tabla player<br />

Ramkumar Mishra. Bhatt introduces a special guest, and Olivia Harrison<br />

steps forward to light a celebratory candle to bless the concert. Bhatt’s<br />

guitar is lighter in tone than his son’s and they combine initially to<br />

produce rich, sparse tones that play off each other, the slide effect to<br />

the fore, before progressing to ever more complex, tempestuous flights,<br />

the finger work lightning quick. The technique is astounding, the pieces<br />

long and discursive, and I must confess to finding it difficult to locate<br />

a reference point upon which to build much understanding. After an<br />

interval, the pieces are much shorter and I begin to hear some bluesy<br />

inflections and stronger melody lines. The guitars have the clean, sharp<br />

sound of a National steel and I even fancy that I can make out a little<br />

Appalachian picking in the mix, which is driven along Mishna’s subtle<br />

and rhythmic percussion. If the first half was prog-era exploration, the<br />

second harked back to the snappier psych-pop of the 60s.<br />

The day is brought to a close with the sublime piano playing of<br />

Anil Srinivasan, academic, educator, journalist and accomplished pianist<br />

in both the Western classical and Carnatic traditions, and this is the<br />

perfect ending to a celebration of the shared bonds between East and<br />

West. Once again Milapfest provide a diverse and original showcase,<br />

embracing The Beatles connection in a positive and vibrant manner.<br />

Glyn Akroyd / @GlynAkroyd<br />


The Comet is Coming<br />

Bam!Bam!Bam! @ 24 Kitchen Street –<br />

19/05<br />

One month before the solstice, and on the same summer evening<br />

that bottle green vintage double-decker buses are orbiting the<br />

city, THE COMET IS COMING descend like a fireball into 24<br />

Kitchen Street, dragging with them their tail of sparks and a<br />

vision for the future. Their descent reverberates off the white<br />

brick walls and the physicality of the human beings beating<br />

inside of this packed house manifests itself in an explosion of<br />

jazz, electronica, funk and psychedelic rock. The futurist trio are<br />

London-based, but grounding them in the limited geographical<br />

locale of our capital city is beside the point; the songs found on<br />

their album Channel The Spirits heavily reference their stargazing<br />

intent, with titles such as Journey Through the Asteroid Belt,<br />

Light Years and Cosmic Dust.<br />

The band appear on the low set stage as if from three<br />

different musical dimensions: the longhaired space cowboy<br />

Betamax Killer, on drums, straddles the genres and holds the<br />

sonic universe together; Danalogue The Conqueror, the most<br />

vocal of the band, relentlessly rocks back and forth at his<br />

Roland synthesiser pulpit in a black waterproof hoodie, the<br />

urban wizard of electronica; the final star in this configuration,<br />

saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, stands tall and soulful in baggy<br />

harem pants and a smile that’s broad enough to illuminate this<br />

coordinate of the Baltic region all by itself. It’s hard to keep your<br />

eyes off Hutchings in particular, and impossible to keep still. The<br />

atmosphere undulates to the waves of sultry tones emanating<br />

from his sax in long solos, before he allows his sound to mutate<br />

with the repetitive house rhythm of his crew.<br />

The band have come together spontaneously from different<br />

projects and are often referred to as the rightful heirs to Sun Ra’s<br />

throne. There’s an unrelenting energy to their power that sees<br />

them live up to this claim. The crowd demands two encores, and<br />

it feels like they belong to something powerful yet uncaptured<br />

by any of the controlling forces inhabiting this space-time<br />

continuum; they are a free, pounding, dub-throbbing, boisterous<br />

rabble of sound; and sometimes, when you’ve been pounded<br />

enough, they smooth you down in raptures of a solo saxophone<br />

before energising you with a slew of jazz, Afrobeat and<br />

electronica. It is both freeform and unifying, and the air-punching<br />

crowd can’t get enough. As close to the spirit of a Space Carnival<br />

as you could imagine.<br />

The Comet Is Coming seem to capture something of that 80s<br />

sci-fi horror mood: it would be no surprise to see Sarah Connor<br />

The Comet Is Coming (Aaron McManus / ampix.co.uk)<br />

wandering through the crowd here at Kitchen Street, such is<br />

their fierce adherence to the myth they’ve created. But this is<br />

a time when we need new icons. The Comet Is Coming come<br />

with a manifesto heralding their call to reorder the cosmos that<br />

states: “Death to the world as we know it. Death to preconceived<br />

notions of truth. Death to the crumbling ruins of an empire<br />

surviving from outdated concepts of hierarchy.”<br />

True believers are advised to catch them on their next visit to<br />

planet earth. Start running.<br />

Sue Bennett<br />

THE<br />

SOCIAL<br />


+ GINTIS<br />

+ HANNAH’S<br />


20/7 - 7.30pm<br />


Free to Bido Lito! Members<br />

Sign up in advance<br />

at bidolito.co.uk<br />

£4 non-members<br />


Turandot<br />

Opera North @ Philharmonic Hall – 18/05<br />

Despite being a staple of a genre which epitomises 19th-century<br />

excess, Giacomo Puccini actually wrote his opera Turandot in<br />

the 1920s, but died before its completion. This production by<br />

the award-winning Opera North uses Franco Alfano’s ending,<br />

reconstructed from Puccini’s sketches. It’s an adaptation of an<br />

ancient Persian tale (from the lesser-known Thousand And One<br />

Days) about an ancient Chinese princess, Turandot (magnificently<br />

sung by Orla Boylan), who demands that any suitor for her love<br />

must answer three riddles or die. As an unsuccessful prince faces<br />

the axe, the visiting prince Calaf is in the crowd. Calaf falls in love<br />

at the sight of Turandot’s beauty, despite her deadly conviction<br />

that she lives to avenge the rape and murder of an ancient<br />

empress who lives again in her. Calaf successfully answers the<br />

riddles, only to challenge the princess to guess his name by<br />

dawn. Until it is discovered, the proclamation goes out across<br />

Peking, none shall sleep – nessun dorma.<br />

Successfully scaled down from the theatrical production,<br />

with a teetering two-storey structure rising out of the orchestra<br />

– Turandot’s boudoir – most of the action takes place along<br />

the front of the stage. This has the added effect of giving<br />

the orchestra a dramatic role (in most opera houses, they’re<br />

practically out of sight). They are part of that sombre crowd<br />

desensitised by executions, or simply mimes behind the music<br />

– the synchronised thrusting of violin bows as slave-girl Liu<br />

(Sunyoung Seo) kills herself with a soldier’s dagger is one of<br />

tonight’s most beautiful moments. The singers are in costume,<br />

and for the most part physical acting is restricted to critical<br />

moments, with voices and Puccini’s music carrying the drama.<br />

Such a two-dimensional staging works, appropriately enough, as<br />

a kind of puppet show.<br />

Rafael Rojas, playing the role of hero Prince Calaf, may be<br />

having an off night. It’s unusual for singers to walk onstage in<br />

their best voice, but he never quite settles into his part, never<br />

quite projecting his voice over the orchestra. That said, it’s still<br />

an impressive feat – it takes a great deal of skill and technique<br />

to sing this music, and he’s not lacking in either. And he brings<br />

the goods when needed – yes, that aria. It’s refreshing to hear<br />

the high B of Nessun Dorma not dragged out into a petulant cry<br />

for approval, but the (relatively) fleeting note Puccini wrote. It’s<br />

much more thrilling that way, and it stays with you longer, like<br />

a glance exchanged with a beautiful face in a crowd and the<br />

conviction that, in another life… Credit is due to conductor Richard<br />

Armstrong for putting the score first, to Rojas for surrendering<br />

his opportunity to showboat for something much more artistic,<br />

and to the audience for not interrupting the flow with continuous<br />

applause, making the final standing ovations worth so much more.<br />

Stuart Miles O’Hara / @ohasm1<br />

ROUND UP<br />

A selection of the best of the<br />

rest from another busy month of<br />

live action on Merseyside.<br />

The Sum (Stephen Vaughan)<br />

Primavera Sound<br />

Parc Del Fòrum, Barcelona - 30/05-03/06<br />

On approach to Parc Del Fòrum, the large open-air arena that<br />

currently houses PRIMAVERA SOUND, the first thing you’ll<br />

notice is the contagious, carefree calm that blankets the area.<br />

Small hives of jovial revellers sit cross-legged, enjoying the last<br />

opportunity to slurp rum from red cups, just a few yards from the<br />

festival’s front gates. Unlike the strange angst and intimidation<br />

felt upon arrival at many UK festivals, the admittance and security<br />

checks at Primavera are serene. Here, the young groups are only<br />

mildly perturbed by the occasional street vendor selling cans of<br />

beer. There is the sense that this is a real music-lover’s festival<br />

as soon as you walk through the gates, as you’re greeted by<br />

the merchandise stands, pop-up record stores and gig poster<br />

stall (Screenadelica gets everywhere). Making your way through<br />

waves of band T-shirts throughout the site, you then get a sense<br />

of the scale of the festival, the space and functionality of the park<br />

with the impressive architectural structures that bend and tower<br />

around the stages.<br />

As the sun starts to set, projecting a burnt, hazy, blue filter<br />

across the festival site, the bouncing beats of young Chicago<br />

rapper JOEY PURP can be heard around the Pitchfork stage. An<br />

exciting member of the SaveMoney crew that includes fellow<br />

Chicago rappers Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa, Joey has<br />

stirred a lot of excitement over the past year following his first<br />

official release iiiDrops. The mixtape features heavily here, staked<br />

with versatile rap styles, fun and introspective lyrics with soulful<br />

and charismatic vocals, he whips the small crowd into a carnival<br />

mood. Girls, feat. Chance The Rapper, is a springy pop-rap tune<br />

reminiscent of that funky Neptune’s sound, which provides the<br />

Turandot (Tristram Kenton)<br />

Primavera: Skepta (Nuria Ruis)<br />

perfect soundtrack as the mood starts to lift before the night’s<br />

headliners.<br />

With increasing domestic and international political division,<br />

the looming threat of terror, and just the mere existence of that<br />

orange fella over the Pond, RUN THE JEWELS provide some<br />

much-needed political catharsis. These two socially conscious<br />

uncles of rap preach equality, political responsibility and<br />

progressive relationships with an anarchistic grit, that proves<br />

to be one of the most polished, enthralling and provocative<br />

sets of the weekend. The atmosphere is lit with the euphoria,<br />

energy and feeling of general togetherness, providing the perfect<br />

representation of what a festival should be; mutual respect and<br />

harmony.<br />

SKEPTA ends the weekend with a magnificently gritty, yet<br />

eloquent, slap to the face. Dwarfed by the Heineken stage in<br />

physicality, he strides before the crowd like a giant towering<br />

over them, riding the coursing tide of energy and aggression that<br />

he’s brought to the arena. Although the crowd are treated to a<br />

set comprising mostly of tracks from his Mercury Prize-winning<br />

album Konnichiwa, he pays homage to his Energy crew with his<br />

early releases, prompting chants of “BBK” in response. The set<br />

gathers momentum and nears tipping point in the crowd as It<br />

Ain’t Safe causes the already huge moshpit to double in size. A<br />

whirlwind of three-day old dust begins to billow up from the front<br />

of the stage, as the moshpit’s centrifuge weaves across the front<br />

of the arena.<br />

Even when your experience of Primavera is as good as this,<br />

it still feels like you’ve only scratched the surface of what’s on<br />

offer. Whatever measurement you want to judge it by – line-up,<br />

setting, atmosphere, crowd – Primavera invariably comes out<br />

above most other festival in the world. It rightly deserves its place<br />

at the top of the tree.<br />

Jonny Winship<br />

The Everyman’s transition into a theatre in the round works<br />

extremely well for intimate, multi-setting plays, notes Debra<br />

Williams, as she witnesses something resembling the return<br />

of the rep. After 25 years, the Everyman have returned to the<br />

practice of hiring a group of actors to perform a series of plays<br />

over a number of weeks – harking back to the days of Pete<br />

Postlethwaite and Julie Walters et al. That link with the past<br />

is also apparent in the themes of one of the pieces in this run,<br />

Lizzie Nunnery’s THE SUM (directed by Gemma Bodinetz).<br />

This ‘play with songs’ echoes the realism (although magical<br />

rather than gritty, according to Nunnery) of Alan Bleasdale’s<br />

The Boys From The Blackstuff, referencing the Kirkby Rent<br />

Strikes and Margaret Thatcher. Firmly anchored in the present<br />

(set, as it is, before and after the 2016 EU Referendum), The<br />

Sum finds Nunnery’s own voice coming through in the rousing<br />

final scene, the playwright as polemicist. Isn’t it time we<br />

were all as angry as Eve (The Sum’s central character), and<br />

galvanised into action?<br />

To the eye of the uninitiated, THE BESNARD LAKES<br />

look like a bunch of misfits, wreathed in blue smoke on The<br />

Magnet’s stage. You couldn’t engineer a more balanced team,<br />

however, argues Stuart Miles O’Hara. Together they have a<br />

sound that binds tunes from debut Volume 1 to this year’s<br />

EP …Are The Divine Wind, with barely a wrinkle in 14 years.<br />

The title track of the latter is a well-judged slab of psych, but<br />

it’s the flip side to that EP, Laura Lee, that ought to be heard.<br />

The rugged strings and orchestras of their studio releases are<br />

reduced here to a heady mix of guitars and synths, becoming<br />

much more urban and (dare we say it) sexy in the process.<br />

To celebrate their fourth birthday, promotions collective<br />

303 have turned to the esteemed ANDREW WEATHERALL<br />

to deliver a six-hour set. Michael Sutton is on hand at the<br />

Williamson Tunnels, one of the most visually and sonically<br />

interesting venues in Liverpool, as Weatherall shows what<br />

more than 20 years of experience at the forefront of electronic<br />

music can achieve. There’s something special about one DJ<br />

controlling the mood for the entire night, and it can sometimes<br />

lead to a beautiful cohesion. Tonight, there are long stretches<br />

of thudding, minimalistic beats, in which the DJ feels like a<br />

hypnotist swinging his medallion to and fro before your eyes.<br />

Elsewhere, Paul Fitzgerald experiences a church service<br />

like no other at the Metropolitan Cathedral, in the presence of<br />

PIERRE HENRY’s moving 50-year-old electronic masterpiece,<br />

and Glyn Akroyd drops in at a Trevor Hughes’ POP ART<br />

EXHIBITION at The Bluecoat.<br />

Full reviews of all these shows can be found now at<br />

bidolito.co.uk.<br />

Andrew Weatherall (Paul McCoy / photomccoy.tumblr.com)<br />


Miles & Erica<br />

(Of The Wonder Stuff)<br />

The Deaf Institute, Manchester<br />

Monday 11th September<br />

Luke Haines<br />

Night & Day Cafe, Manchester<br />

Sunday 15th October<br />

The Frank & Walters<br />

The Ruby Lounge, Manchester<br />

Sunday 22nd October<br />

The Magic Band<br />

(Final ever tour)<br />

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool<br />

Friday 10th November<br />

ROB HERON &<br />




Peggy Seeger<br />

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool<br />

Tuesday 28th November<br />

LAU<br />



@Ceremonyconcert / facebook.com/ceremonyconcerts<br />

ceremonyconcerts@gmail.com / seetickets.com<br />

TUESDAY 20 JUNE <strong>2017</strong> • £22.50 • 7pm<br />


FRIDAY 6 OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong> • £18.50 • 7pm<br />


SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER <strong>2017</strong> • £14.00 • 7pm<br />


SATURDAY 11 NOVEMBER <strong>2017</strong> • 7pm<br />


SATURDAY 2 DECEMBER <strong>2017</strong> • £12.50 • 7pm<br />

GUNS 2 ROSES<br />

FRIDAY 22 DECEMBER <strong>2017</strong> • £23.50 • 7pm<br />

SLADE<br />

34 GREENLAND STREET, LIVERPOOL L1 0BS • 0844 8000 410<br />


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Y E S T E R D A Y ’ S G O N E<br />

T O U R<br />

Tue 07 November <strong>2017</strong><br />

Liverpool Arts Club<br />







OUT NOW<br />







An S.J.M. Concerts presentation by arrangement with Primary Talent International<br />

Mon 07 August<br />

Liverpool Empire Theatre<br />

atgtickets.com<br />

gigsandtours.com | ticketmaster.co.uk<br />

reginaspektor.com<br />

Presented by SJM Concerts by arrangement with WME




DELIAH<br />



Get There By Train<br />


Performances from<br />

Blue Saint<br />

Katy Alex<br />

The Shipbuilders<br />

+ more tba<br />


incorporating<br />

The Liverpool<br />

Sea Shanty<br />

Festival<br />

26-28 AUGUST <strong>2017</strong><br />

Visit<br />


for up to date artist announcements or follow us<br />


SAY<br />


Ahead of what organisers<br />

describe as “arguably the most<br />

vital edition to date”, Taher<br />

Qassim, Chair of Liverpool Arab<br />

Arts Festival (LAAF) considers<br />

how art captures the global,<br />

social and cultural issues that<br />

help us to recognise what<br />

unites us.<br />

“In Liverpool, a city built<br />

on migration, we are<br />

lucky to have so many<br />

opportunities to use<br />

our cultural heritage to<br />

explore and forge new<br />

artistic meanings”<br />

“We were talking about the space in between us all/And the<br />

people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion.”<br />

The Beatles, Within You, Without You (1967)<br />

Liverpool’s city-wide 50 Summers Of Love programme<br />

has inspired an exciting range of artistic responses<br />

marking the golden anniversary of both the 1967<br />

Summer Of Love and the release of The Beatles’ classic<br />

album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.<br />

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s <strong>2017</strong> programme has<br />

responded directly to the opening lyrics of George Harrison’s<br />

Sgt. Pepper track, Within You Without You. As Harrison’s second<br />

recording in an Indian classical style, and the only non Lennon-<br />

McCartney song on the album, the track presented Indian<br />

classical music to a new Western audience while encapsulating<br />

the spiritual themes of the Summer Of Love.<br />

Within You, Without You tells of overcoming the forces that<br />

prevents us from recognising what unites the world. 50 years<br />

later, this remains highly pertinent. We are living in an era of<br />

dramatic change, flux and contradiction. In some respects, we<br />

live in a more open, connected and accepting world than ever<br />

before, while at home and across the globe people live in fear,<br />

and endure conflict and oppression.<br />

Since 1998, LAAF has provided a space for all types of<br />

people, regardless of their background, to experience the work<br />

of artists from the Arab diaspora; artists who push us to think<br />

radically and deal with a sometimes uncomfortable reality, who<br />

see the world as it is, and imagine how it could be. This year –<br />

arguably the festival’s most vital edition to date – we explore the<br />

constructs, boundaries and spaces that exist between us through<br />

music, dance, visual art and food-led celebrations.<br />

Iraqi-born visual artist Wafaa Bilal brings together people<br />

in Liverpool and Baghdad through a powerful examination of<br />

the dual processes of destruction and exchange. In 2003 looters<br />

raided the library of the College of Fine Arts at the University<br />

of Baghdad and destroyed the entire collection. 15 years later,<br />

the college still hasn’t recovered from this monumental loss.<br />

Bilal’s acclaimed installation 168:01, which will be restaged<br />

at FACT during the festival, presents a sizeable, austere white<br />

bookshelf stacked with blank tomes. Liverpool visitors are invited<br />

to participate in an exchange; by becoming donors they will<br />

receive one of the blank books, with their contribution funding a<br />

new replacement textbook for the Baghdad library. Bilal’s work<br />

is an affront against cultural destruction, a globalised monument<br />

invested in hope and the future.<br />

In Liverpool, a city built on migration, we are lucky to have<br />

so many opportunities to use our cultural heritage to explore and<br />

forge new artistic meanings. The World Museum houses over<br />

16,000 objects from or relating to Ancient Egypt and is one of<br />

the largest such collections in the UK. In her performance Ancient<br />

Modernity, Choreographer Zosia Jo asks how can a museum<br />

charting 5,000 years of history reflect modern Egypt? We are<br />

keen to see what happens when ancient and contemporary<br />

worlds collide through site-specific dance; can the complexities<br />

of modern day Egypt be reflected within a Western museological<br />

environment?<br />

I believe that theatre can provide a unique space to explore<br />

powerful, personal narratives that forge a connection between<br />

performers and audiences. And Here I Am at Unity Theatre<br />

does just this. It chronicles one Palestinian’s extraordinary truelife<br />

story from armed resistance fighter to artist and refugee.<br />

Performer Ahmed Tobasi crafts a solo work inspired by his<br />

own life experiences but anchored within the wider context of<br />

Palestinian and Arab refugee communities in Europe.<br />

By collapsing the time between modern day Woolwich and<br />

colonial Somalia in the early 1900s, the critically acclaimed onewoman<br />

show The Crows Plucked Your Sinews, explores modes<br />

of resistance rooted in the lyrical tradition of Somalia and the<br />

legacy of Britain’s imperial past. The title is a reference to the man<br />

who led the Somali resistance against British occupation.<br />

In the US, Donald Trump’s divisive executive order, otherwise<br />

known as the ‘Muslim Ban’, led to outpourings of resistance<br />

in both the US and UK. We’re delighted that Independent<br />

Manchester publisher Comma Press will launch Banthology:<br />

Seven Stories From Seven Countries; an anthology of translated<br />

texts from emerging writers impacted by the ban, at the festival.<br />

This urgent and timely collection celebrates a people determined<br />

to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression.<br />

Our two biggest events provide platforms to realise this. Eid<br />

On The Square on Saturday 8th <strong>July</strong> will be a colourful, joyous<br />

programme of family-friendly cultural celebration of Eid al-Fitr<br />

marking the end of Ramadan. Taking place at Tiber Square,<br />

this event celebrates the diversity of Lodge Lane and the local<br />

businesses and partners who are the lifeblood of the area. Our<br />

annual Family Day festival finale on <strong>July</strong> 16 will bring thousands<br />

of people together at Sefton Park Palm House with international<br />

music, Arabian souk, cultural cuisine and family activities.<br />

Ultimately LAAF is, and always has been, about bringing<br />

people together. All our events, artists, supporters and partners<br />

share this ethos. We should aspire to tear down the ‘wall of<br />

illusion’ that Harrison referred to: the transformative power of<br />

artistic expression can play a huge part in achieving this. !<br />

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival – ‘The Space Between Us’ takes<br />

place between 8th and 16th <strong>July</strong> in various venues across<br />

Liverpool. Find out more at arabartsfestival.com<br />


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